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Pub which closed last month set to be reopened by man who first brought it to life

John Carrick is the owner of Darby's Freehouse and Restaurant in Swanton Morley and is set to reopen later in the year following a major refurbishment. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

John Carrick is the owner of Darby's Freehouse and Restaurant in Swanton Morley and is set to reopen later in the year following a major refurbishment. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Archant

It first opened its doors as a pub in the heart of a mid-Norfolk village thirty years ago.

John Carrick is the owner of Darby's Freehouse and Restaurant in Swanton Morley and is set to reopen later in the year following a major refurbishment. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPJohn Carrick is the owner of Darby's Freehouse and Restaurant in Swanton Morley and is set to reopen later in the year following a major refurbishment. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

And now Darby’s, in Swanton Morley, is set to reopen again under the supervision of the man who first brought the vision to life.

John Carrick, of Carrick and Son, has owned the building since 1946 when it was originally made up of two farm cottages. But during the eighties, Mr Carrick oversaw the project to transform it into a pub to help fulfil a need in the village.

Following Darby’s opening in 1988, he ran the pub with a manager for 20 years before leasing it out. Now he is hoping to take on the running of it once again, with a new management team by his side, after the previous tenant ceased trading last month.

He said: “We are going to produce a pub that everyone can feel comfortable in.

“The aim is to make it a community pub which everyone can identify with.

“I am extremely excited and I want it to be a really successful place where everyone can feel they can take ownership. I want everyone to feel that this is their local.”

The building is currently undergoing a complete refurbishment which will see improved facilities, the creation of more inside space and better disabled access.

There will also be a function room, and updated beer garden and children’s play area to make the pub more family and dog friendly.

The reopening will also create new jobs including bar, kitchen, and waiting staff, and also a head chef, of which Mr Carrick has already received interest.

New menus will be created and the aim is to use and promote local produce.

Darby’s is due to repoen at the end of November, this year.

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