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The Shepherd Neame pubs reopening in Kent on April 12

Kent's biggest pub owner has revealed which of its boozers will reopen when outdoor drinking returns on April 12.

Faversham-based Shepherd Neame - which has 211 pubs across the county - says 141 will open up their gardens when lockdown restrictions ease in four weeks.

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Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame
Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame

Customers will be able to enjoy a pub pint for the first time since the start of November - but only al fresco until indoor drinking is allowed on May 19.

Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame says he would have liked pubs to reopen fully at the same time as non-essential shops and gyms on April 12.

But he remains optimistic about a bumper summer season after a miserable year for the hospitality industry.

“We are delighted to be able to start reopening our pubs and hotels next month, and look forward to welcoming customers back for a beer and a meal at the start of a Great British summer," he said.

"We are incredibly proud that our pubs have remained at the heart of their communities throughout this crisis, working to provide vital services and support.

"After the unprecedented impact of the past year, the need for pubs to reopen and provide that social hub is more urgent than ever."


'Tie-free pubs', which are owned by the brewer but managed separately, such as Maidstone's Fishermans Arms, are not included on the list.

Earlier this month, Wetherspoon revealed it would be reopening 19 of its 32 Kent pubs on April 12.

Meanwhile Greene King, which operates 442 venues across the country, will reopen 18 in Kent. They are:

  • Bell (Bredhurst)
  • Black Bull (Folkestone)
  • Bull (Otford)
  • Bull (Penenden Heath)
  • Chiltern Hundreds (Maidstone)
  • Compasses (Tunbridge Wells)
  • Jolly Fenman (Sidcup)
  • Newnham Court Inn (Maidstone)
  • Old Rectory (Leybourne)
  • Pippin (Maidstone)
  • Poachers Pocket (Chatham)
  • Robin Hood (Tunbridge Wells)
  • Star (Gillingham)
  • Tigers Head (Chislehurst)
  • Wealden Hall (Larkfield)
  • We-Anchor-In-Hope (Welling)
  • Ye Olde Black Horse (Lamorbey, Bexley)

Any hospitality venue operating from that April 12 will have to follow strict government guidelines.

Customers will be able to enter premises to gain access to outside areas and toilets.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

To read the Secret Drinker’s pub reviews click here.

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