Landlord says Eastwood pub has 'never been busier' after installing huge marquee
An Eastwood pub and restaurant owner says business has been ‘crazy’ since reopening doors earlier this month.
After a long winter of restrictions, pubs were finally able to open up beer gardens to the public on April 12.
Many landlords across Eastwood and Kimberley had to adapt their spaces to enable them to welcome customers back outside.
Kane Oliver, of Oliver’s pub and restaurant in Nottingham Road, decided to transform his car park with a huge marquee big enough to accommodate 90 people.
The local businessman invested £15,000 into the new outdoor space, which has a bohemian feel and is complete with a big screen for football matches.
“Everyone said that I was crazy and I’d never make the money back,” he said.
But now the doors have reopened and the weather is good, Mr Oliver is relieved that the pub has never been so busy.
He said: “It has been crazy. Busiest we’ve ever been. On the first Monday, there was up to 45-minute wait on drinks because it was so busy.
"But not one person complained because everybody was just happy to be back at a pub.
"We had a queue down the road and had to turn some people away in the end, which isn’t something we want to do, but it’s just nice to be busy and to see the regulars back.”
The landlord said that because the events of the past year have been tough on everyone, it means a lot to people to be back out socialising again.
He added: "There are a lot of people that are just happy to see faces.
"We’ve got many customers who come in that live on their own so I can’t even begin to imagine what it has been like for them.”
During the pandemic, Mr Oliver has managed to keep the business afloat by coming up with new ideas.
He said: "It has been a struggle and we’ve just been constantly trying to find ways to reinvent ourselves. We bought a tuk-tuk to help us make deliveries and we were actually busier on takeaway than we ever were on food before.
"We’re now looking to buy a couple more and hopefully start doing taxis so people can get home safe at the end of the evening.
"One of the main things for us is that we didn’t lose any staff. Hopefully the worst is over now and it’s onwards and upwards from here.”