A Kent pub managed to open despite a car crashing in the front in the early hours, said his exhausted landlord.
The Swan Inn in Little Chart, near Ashford, will still be able to serve pints to customers outside despite the landlord having been awakened by the devastation around 2 am on Saturday (July 4).
The “gutted” incident occurred a few hours before the pub reopened after 15 long weeks of freezing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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But the owners wouldn’t let it completely ruin their plans for the so-called “Super Saturday”.
Ray Perkins told the PA news agency: “It was absolutely devastating because obviously we were opening today.
“We gathered everyone around and cleaned up the bar, every single glass had to be washed again.”
He added, “We opened, we managed to open the pub – not inside, only outside.”
Perkins said he was “completely gutted” and “exhausted” by the accident, but was determined to open up for his clients.
He continued: “We have worked hard for the last god to know how many weeks he’s ready for today.
“At 2 am they practically destroyed today for us, but this is life.
“We didn’t want to disappoint anyone because we booked 200 people to come and eat and drink outside and be happy on the first day of opening.”
Kent police said they were called to the scene shortly before 2.25 am alongside paramedics and firefighters.
Three 17-year-old boys inside the car were taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries.
One of them was arrested on charges of taking a vehicle without consent and drinking alcohol. He remains in custody.
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Pubs across England have been allowed to reopen since Saturday as restrictions on coronavirus blocking have been eased.
Restaurants, bars and cinemas have also been authorized to welcome customers for the first time in three months.
Pubs in Wales and Scotland must remain closed until the end of this month as devolved nations are raising their blocking rules more slowly, but Northern Ireland’s hotels, bars, restaurants and cafés reopened on Friday .