News > Business

JD Wetherspoon reopens Woolwich pub following riots destruction

1 commentBy Luke Nicholls , 09-Jul-2012

Related topics: Business, Venues, Events & Awards, 2011, Pubs & Bars

The Great Harry pub in Woolwich is set to reopen tomorrow (July 10) on the site of the original building which was burnt to the ground during last year’s riots.

JD Wetherspoon has spent £1.3m redeveloping The Great Harry, with 15 members of staff returning to the pub

JD Wetherspoon has spent £1.3m redeveloping The Great Harry, with 15 members of staff returning to the pub

JD Wetherspoon has spent £1.3m redeveloping The Great Harry, with the creation of 60 jobs and 15 members of staff returning from the old business. Arber Hasani will step in as the pub's new manager.

Situated on Wellington Street, The Great Harry was originally opened in 2000. It was then completely destroyed in a petrol bomb attack on the night of 8 August 2011.

Emergency crews came under attack as they tried to fight the blaze at the pub and nearby offices and shops. The below video shows the extent of the damage caused.

The pub has since served as a poignant symbol of the riots, being used as a ‘wall of peace’, with many members of the public writing messages on the burnt out building's hoardings.

“We are delighted to be reopening The Great Harry,” said Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson. “The pub plays an important role in the Woolwich community.

“In the days following the disturbances, the hoardings around the burnt out pub became a ‘tribute wall’ for people to leave messages and comments of support, which showed the importance of the pub to them and the local community.”

'Absolute war zone'

At the time of the riots, Eddie Gershon, a spokesman for Wetherspoons, told BigHospitality that it was ‘horrendous for the local community and the economy’. He said that the pub was closed at the time of the attack and that other minor incidents were reported at other pubs in the country.

The other pubs were under siege were in Croydon, Camden and central London. Alan McCabe, the manager of the Old Fox & Hounds in Croydon, described the area as ‘an absolute war zone’.

The 16-year-old Abbey Wood arsonist who burnt the pub down was detained last December for four years.

1 comment (Comments are now closed)

Well done Wetherspoons

As a local, a big thank you to JDs. It is a successful pub and did not deserve its fate.
I hope it is even more succesful with all the new residents due to move in.

Report abuse

Posted by Martin McHugh
10 July 2012 | 12h19

BigHighlights

Mark Poynton: Pearls of Wisdom

Mark Poynton: Pearls of Wisdom

The British chef-patron of the Michelin-starred Alimentum and star of Great British Menu Mark Poynton talks about...

Interview with Glendola Leisure's Alexander Salussolia
Small Talk

Alexander Salussolia on Silk & Grain, market niches and nurturing future talent

Managing director of Glendola Leisure Alexander Salussolia joined the company in 1992 as an area manager, before...

60-Second Skill: Using #foodporn to your advantage

60-Second Skill: Using #foodporn to your advantage

Customers posting pictures of your food on social media is a trend you can't escape, but by...

Gallery: the UK’s first experiential craft brewery Drygate Brewing Co.

Gallery: the UK’s first experiential craft brewery

New Glasgow venture Drygate Brewing Co. claims to be the UK’s first experiential craft brewery, offering a...

Hospitality Openings: June 2014

Hospitality Openings: June 2014

Our latest round of up of the hottest hospitality openings includes Heston Blumenthal’s Heathrow venture The Perfectionists’ Café,...

60-Second Skill: Pouring champagne

60-Second Skill: Pouring champagne

As demonstrated at the Moet UK Sommelier of the Year competition, champagne pouring requires skills and knowledge....

Find us on Facebook

Digital Edition - Restaurant Magazine

Access to the Restaurant Magazine digital edition