Somers Town pub to reopen with hard hat party - less than three weeks after dramatic blaze
- Credit: @_fastamersham
The owner of a pub that was severely damaged by a blaze has said firefighters will never have to pay for a drink there again, as it is set to reopen three weeks after the fire.
The Somers Town Coffee House looked doomed as smoke poured from its roof and the packed pub was evacuated on the Friday night, when a discarded cigarette triggered the fire.
However owner Tim Foster has decided to get the pub back in action as soon as possible, and it will reopen with a special party on Thursday. For him, he wanted to re-open the pub’s doors as quickly as he could.
“We could close it for a year without losing any money,” he said. “But that’s not what we’re about. We’ve spent the past five years building it up. We want people enjoying the pub.”
When dramatic scenes from Chalton Street on June 22 showed the pub ablaze, Tim feared the worst.
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“When I first saw the pictures, I thought it was gone,” he said.
Firefighters who went into the pub in the days after the fire told Tim that they were surprised by how well it survived the fire, and their efforts to put it out.
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“The fire crews went through and took things off the walls, and drilled holes to make sure the water didn’t build up. Usually in this situation the basement floods, because of water that’s come from the hoses draining down, but ours hasn’t because of their work.
“We owe the firefighters our eternal gratitude.”
Around 40 builders have been on site working to make sure it can re-open quickly. The pub will be fitted with a tin roof to provide a temporary fix, after the blaze ravaged its previous roof.
However it won’t just be the pub with new headgear on show, as the apt theme for the re-opening is a “hard hat party.”
The pubs doors will be reopened at 3pm on Thursday. The pub will be collecting money to go towards the firefighters’ charity, the start of a new partnership between the pub and the fire service.
“We’ve worked with charities before and not always raised money, but that’s something which will change.
“We’ve said we’ll have their Christmas parties here, and no firefighter will ever have to put their hands in their pocket in this pub again.”