March 11 2014 Latest news:
Lee-Ann Richards, Reporter
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
One of Romford’s oldest pubs is set to reopen its doors at the end of this month, but with a new name and a fresh lease of life.
Businessman Richard Willis wants to turn the Lamb Inn in Romford Marketplace into the town’s first Irish bar and the first change he wants to make is renaming it Mulligans.
He said: “I am really excited, I think it is exactly what Romford needs.
“Like a lot of people I saw the pub boarded up and I saw the opportunity for it to open again.”
Richard, who also owns Romford Snooker Club said that he always wanted to open an Irish bar in Romford.
As part of the changes the grade two listed building is set to be given a lick of paint and a make over.
Richard, who took over the lease of the pub two weeks ago, says that it will also be turned into a music venue and he has already been inundated with messages from Irish folk groups who want to perform in Romford.
He said: “It is a listed building so I am not going to go in smashing up the place, it’s going to be the same traditional pub, but it is just going to have an Irish feel to it.
“I think it will work really well in Romford because there is a big Irish community in the area.”
The news of the name change has been met with mixed emotions from residents.
Historian Ian Wilkes said that it was an important part of Romford history.
He said: “They should not be allowed to change its name.
“It is wrong, the pub has been there since the 12th century and everytime a pub changes its name something is lost.”
Steve Davies wrote on Facebook: “The Lamb hasn’t been the most welcoming pub in recent history so a change of name, owner and fresh approach is good news. I look forward to popping in for a Guinness soon!.”
The pub closed its doors in September after its management gave up the lease.
It reopened again in December under temporary management, but closed again within a matter of weeks.
Richard said: “There may be some backlash to me changing the name, but it hasn’t been that successful recently as The Lamb and something different has to happen to it.”