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Gidea Park Pub Reopens After Major Revamp

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

The Drill, on Brentwood Road, was due to open on the 27th March after the refurbishment work with 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, Kim and Wayne are delighted that the work included a garden makeover complete with new furniture, astroturf, pretty planting and a water feature plus a children’s play area that is ready for when restrictions are further eased.

The Drill’s 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 & chips to burgers.

The couple have put a host of new measures in place to ensure customer safety and to meet health & 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 duo 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. The duo marked VE Day by putting up Union Jack flags and playing Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again”.

Says Kim: “The Drill looks fantastic. 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.”

Adds Kim: “We feel fortunate that The Drill is so spacious. We’ve spread out the tables but not lost any seats inside and, thanks to the makeover, we can now comfortably accommodate 120 people outside, too.”

Comments Will Rice, Star Pubs & Bars’ operations director: “Kim and Wayne have done a brilliant job at The Drill over the last three years and created a really great local. We’re pleased to have built on their good work and invested in upgrading the pub. The garden looks amazing and, combined with the new menu, will hopefully bring such much needed cheer in these challenging times.”

The Drill opens at 3pm on 9th July.