A LANDLORD has been hit hard after a car destroyed his pub overnight – but still hopes to reopen today.
Ray Perkins was ready for Super Saturday after his pub was closed for almost three months, before tragedy struck.
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A huge hole has been left in the Swan Inn after a car crashed into it[/caption]
He and his wife Ann had been prepping to serve 200 booked punters today before the 2am smash.
The Swan Inn has been left with a huge hole in the front of the pub and rubble strewn across the bar.
But Ray is optimistic they will still serve the regulars booked in to drink in marquees in the pub’s garden.
“We’re still hoping to open,” he said. “There’s some clearing up to do, and we can’t have people inside the pub, but there’s plenty of room in the garden.
“We plan to open at midday.”
The 67-year-old added: “We don’t want to let people down, they’ve waited long enough for a beer. The show must go on.
“We were woken about 2am by a huge bang and then what sounded like someone hammering on the door.
“I thought someone had broken down, but we came downstairs to find a car in the front of the pub.
‘SHOW MUST GO ON’
“It was a Land Rover Discovery with three people inside. It looked like one of them had a broken arm.
“Our bedroom is right above the hole in the front of the pub, and our bed has moved down two inches. We’re lucky the floor didn’t collapse.”
The couple have been running the 15th century coaching inn, at Little Chart near Ashford, Kent, for almost two years.
Officers from Kent Police attended the scene alongside the Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
Ann commented: “Devastated doesn’t describe it. Our pride and joy has been destroyed.”
Some 15 million pints are expected to be sank today and 23,000 locals back in business – with the price of a pint hiked up by many chains.
But the Prime Minister has urged Brits to be “sensible” and stick to the rules, despite the restrictions being relaxed – he threatened more local lockdowns if Brits don’t behave today.
Pubs were allowed to open from 6am today, with Wetherspoons throwing open the doors of 750 pubs at 8am.
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Pubs shut their doors when they were ordered to temporarily close amid the pandemic, but the Government gave the green light to start serving again today.
Restaurants and cafes are also allowed to start serving customers again and not just for takeaways.
Pubs couldn’t open until 6am – just in case anyone wanted to try and get a late-night pint in.
And it will depend on the licence that each pub has as to when they can actually serve you a drink – so some may not have flung open their doors quite so early.