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Gidea Park pub finally opens after major revamp

PUBLISHED: 12:30 09 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:30 09 July 2020

The Drill, Gidea Park is to re-open after a refurbishment. Licensees Kim FitzGibbon and her partner Wayne Cunningham. Picture: Matt Grayson

The Drill, Gidea Park is to re-open after a refurbishment. Licensees Kim FitzGibbon and her partner Wayne Cunningham. Picture: Matt Grayson

Copyright (2020) Matt Grayson, all right reserved

It’s a double celebration for one Gidea Park pub this week, which is not only reopening after the lockdown but is showcasing its £265,000 revamp to the community for the first time.

The pub will open on July 9, 17 later than schedueled. Picture: Matt GraysonThe pub will open on July 9, 17 later than schedueled. Picture: Matt Grayson

The Drill, in Brentwood Road, was due to open on March 27 after the refurbishment work by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars finished.

Instead, licensees Kim FitzGibbon and Wayne Cunningham have had to wait a further 17 weeks before revealing the changes to local residents.

The pub’s exterior has been repainted and new signage and lighting added to give The Drill a smart new look in keeping with its prominent position on the Drill roundabout.

With social distancing now required, the work has included a garden makeover complete with new furniture, artificial grass, plants, a water feature and a children’s play area.

The beer garden atThe Drill in Gidea Park will fit 120 people, when social distancing is eased. Picture: Matt GraysonThe beer garden atThe Drill in Gidea Park will fit 120 people, when social distancing is eased. Picture: Matt Grayson

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The interior is now lighter and brighter and there is a sports zone, a new kitchen and a dining area. Kim has spent lockdown perfecting an extended menu featuring 20 traditional pub favourites ranging from fish and chips to burgers.

The couple have put a host of new measures in place to ensure customer safety and to meet health and safety guidelines. Customers will be greeted at the door, shown to a table and receive table service. There is also a one-way system, sanitiser stations and an app for ordering.

Kim and Wayne - who are getting married next year - met at the pub and took it on in July 2017. Since then, they have turned it into a much-loved hub of the community.

The pub was schedueled to reopen in March. Picture: Matt GraysonThe pub was schedueled to reopen in March. Picture: Matt Grayson

They kept up local morale throughout the lockdown with outside displays including a giant rainbow, blue flashing lights on Clap for Carers nights and international flags for the weeks when the Euros would have been on. They marked VE Day by putting up Union Jack flags and playing Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again.

Kim said: “The whole team is raring to go. We can’t wait to open and show the pub to local residents. We’ve missed all our customers, the pub felt sad and far too quiet without them. Judging from all the messages we’ve had, regulars are desperate to get back to The Drill and meet up again. Their support and good wishes have meant the world to us and kept us going.”

The Drill opens today (July 9) at 3pm.


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