New landlords to reopen closed riverside pub

Glenn Wilson and Kirsty Taylor will be reopening the Rivergarden pub in Thorpe St Andrew.

Glenn Wilson and Kirsty Taylor - pictured with dog Peebee - will be reopening the Rivergarden pub in Thorpe St Andrew. - Credit: Ella WIlkinson

Landlords who spent 10 years running a pub on the Broads are set to begin a new chapter and reopen one by the river on the edge of Norwich.

Glenn Wilson, 61, and Kirsty Taylor, 38, have taken over The Rivergarden on Yarmouth Road in Thorpe St Andrew after a decade spent at the Pleasure Boat Inn in Hickling.

They moved into their new home in January, and have spent the last few months readying it for reopening, refurbishing and replacing garden furniture, investing in gazebos, marquees and heaters and redecorating inside.

They now have their sights set on April 12, when - if the government's roadmap continues to go to plan - they will open the pub's doors for the first time since it closed in 2019.

Glenn Wilson and Kirsty Taylor at the Rivergarden on Yarmouth Road.

Glenn Wilson and Kirsty Taylor at the Rivergarden on Yarmouth Road. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Mr Wilson said: "We are aiming to create a Broadland community pub. We'll have Broads pictures and art which we have collected and boat bits and pieces - a Broadland pub on the edge of the city."

An upstairs function room - which they have dubbed their village hall - will, when it is safe to do so, play host to events, with a handful of weddings already booked in the diary.

"We will adapt as we go along," he said. "It's a lovely venue, it's all about the garden. The building itself is very nice and quirky too, and goes back to 1650."

The pair will be reopening the pub - if the government's roadmap goes to plan - on April 12.

The pair will be reopening the Rivergarden in Thorpe St Andrew - if the government's roadmap goes to plan - on April 12. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

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He said bookings so far for April had been reassuringly strong, with certain dates quickly filling.

The pub will be offering a traditional food menu, Mr Wilson said, though there will be beer sharing plates for those after a nibble more substantial than a packet of crisps.

Main dishes will include pub classics such as battered fish and chip, and home-made steak pies.

There will also be paddle-boarding operating from the site, which sits next to the River Yare.

The River Garden Credit: Simon Finlay

The River Garden at Thorpe St Andrew. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The pub is owned by Ei Publican Partnerships, which Mr Wilson said had given "superb support" since they took the pub on. He also praised Broadland District Council for its help, as well as friends and locals from the Pleasure Boat, who had helped with preparations at the Rivergarden.

The pub was listed for sale in May 2019 after its then-landlords Stephen and Karen Perllman decided to narrow their focus to one pub.