Published: 15:34, 15 July 2020
| Updated: 18:29, 15 July 2020
A town centre pub has been transformed after a major refurbishment and is now open for business.
The Old House at Home in Maidstone shut up shop in February, intending to welcome customers back five weeks later after a huge makeover.
But just as it was supposed to reopen, Covid-19 hit, so Jim and Karen Rennie, who run the pub, had to wait four more months.
The Pudding Lane tavern finally reopened yesterday and looks like a totally different establishment.
The interior has been revamped from top to bottom, with a new bar, furniture, paintwork, flooring and toilets.
Outside, the signage has been replaced and the hanging baskets have been filled with fresh flowers, completing the smart new appearance of the beamed front.
It comes after Craft Union Pub Company took over the drinking hole earlier this year - but Mr and Mrs Rennie are still landlord and landlady, as they have been since 1999.
Mrs Rennie, 51, said: "They've given it a lovely facelift - it looks stunning in here. When we walked in I felt like I was on a makeover show.
"But it's been done very sympathetically and we've kept quite a few ornaments and display bits that we had before."
Food is no longer being offered at the pub but a wider range of drinks will be available, including hand-crafted gins and Birra Moretti lager.
Sports channels will still be shown but the usual live bands, karaoke and DJ nights will not return until it is deemed safe enough.
Staff are also adhering to social distancing guidelines, with well-spaced seating, table instead of bar service and a one person at a time toilet policy.
"We've been away at another pub to do our training so we've got our heads around the new rules... it feels a little bit continental doing table service. And we can serve beers in little jugs too, also quite continental," said Mrs Rennie.
Yesterday, the bar was decorated with balloons as family, friends and locals gathered to celebrate the reopening of the Old House at Home from midday.
"It's been very exciting to reopen as it's been a long time coming - my legs are killing though," said Mrs Rennie.
She added: "It's very much a regulars pub and a few have already popped their heads in and the feedback has so far all been positive. I think lots of them were quite surprised they liked it!"
More by this authorRebecca Tuffin
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