Customers ‘disappointed’ their pub won’t be reopening after all
- Credit: ELLA WILKINSON
Campaigners have said they “dared to hope” their local pub would reopen - only to find out brewing giant Greene King had sent a ‘welcome back’ message in error.
The Macebearer on the Nowton estate in Bury St Edmunds has been described as a “social hub” and “bedrock of the local community” by regulars, but its doors have been closed ever since the first national coronavirus lockdown in March.
In the hope of persuading Greene King to reopen the pub, locals launched a campaign and petition, which now has more than 600 names online.
Ahead of some pubs reopening following the latest national lockdown, Macebearer customers received an email from the ‘team at the Macebearer’, saying: ‘We are ready to reopen our doors and welcome you back on Wednesday, 2nd December.’
MORE: ‘It would be a travesty not to reopen our pub’ - community fight for their localHowever, Greene King, which is based in the town, has confirmed this was sent in error and have apologised for “any confusion or upset this caused”.
Tom Anderson, who launched the petition, said it was “very disappointing,” particularly given the campaign Greene King are aware of.
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“There was a good few people who thought ‘wow, this is an unprofessional and embarrassing error in their part’.
“But there were certainly others who didn’t think this and believed the email welcoming them back to their local pub was true,” he said.
MORE: Suffolk brewer Greene King to shut 26 sites and axe 800 staffAdy Knox, who received the email and is part of the campaign, said: “I’m disappointed beyond words for all the people invited to the Macebearer reopening on December 2 - people that dared to dream again that they could escape their isolation, despair and loneliness only to have their hopes dashed because of a ‘clerical error’.
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“Greene King, have a heart. This is your home town. This pub is a necessary social hub within a mile of your headquarters. Hospital staff, Greene King staff, amongst others, meet there. Please give us back our community hub.”
Customer Anne Hosking added: “I felt overjoyed for a split second thinking I was going to get my go-to place back. Then realising later it wasn’t going to be happening.”
A spokesperson for Greene King said: “Earlier this week we sent out an email to all our customers to welcome them back to their local Greene King pub. The email was sent in error to customers of the Macebearer and we are extremely sorry for any confusion or upset this caused. Unfortunately, we announced in October the difficult decision not to reopen the pub for the immediate future.”
MORE: ‘That’s dedication’ - see the tiny model of the Nutshell pub by a customer missing his pintIn terms of the other pubs in Bury, out of those managed by Greene King the Dog & Partridge, The Fox, The Bushel, The Grapes, Spread Eagle, Tollgate, Greengage and the Rushbrooke Arms are all back open.
For the Greene King-tenanted pubs, it is understood the Masons Arms and the Station are back open and the Rose & Crown and Black Boy are looking to reopen imminently.
The Nutshell - one of the smallest pubs in Britain - is staying shut for now as they don’t serve food.
The Kings Arms is also staying closed at the moment because, although they do serve food, the majority of their trade is drinks.