Pubs eager to reopen despite concerns over unpredictable April weather
- Credit: Archant
The county's pubs have been closed since December, and many regulars are looking forward to their first pint back.
In North Walsham, publicans are excited to reopen, but feel their success will be weather dependant.
Bev Holland, at the White Swan, says she is not planning to open until indoor opening is allowed, currently scheduled for May 17, due to the unpredictable April weather.
She said: "We're aiming for May, the weather's too unpredictable in April it's just not worth it. If we have an April like we did last year it'll be lovely, but we're looking at May.
"As long as they allow everything, because it's not set in stone yet, I'm just looking forward to seeing people, how some people are coping god only knows.
"There's light at the end of the tunnel now, hopefully it'll be nine weeks and we can open, hopefully just five weeks for some people if they're opening outside."
In 2005 North Walsham was dubbed 'the drinking capital of Europe' after many of its pubs were given a 24-hour drinking licence, believed to be one of the highest ratios by population of anywhere in Europe.
At the Hop In micropub, owner Nigel Davis is planning to reopen on Friday, April 16 ahead of the first pubbing weekend of the year.
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He said: "We can open from the Monday but we're actually going to open on the Friday so we can get everyone in over the weekend.
"We'll have tables and chairs outside by then, all socially distanced, just like last summer.
"If it's warmed up a bit by then we won't bother to put a marquee up, if we can get away with it then we'll just have the tables and chairs."
Orchard Gardens owner Alison Starling is yet to make a decision on whether to open in April or wait until indoor service is allowed in May, but hopes to open as soon as possible.
She said: "We're not 100pc sure because it's a challenging environment when you can only open outside with limited tables.
"In all likelihood we'll be opening in April, but although we've got a big garden and we've built some shelter, we're limited with tables and obviously with table service we need extra staff.
"It'll be a really challenging environment to be opening in, but we'll give it a go, because our customers are desperate to come and see everybody."