A POPULAR centre pub is reopening after seven months of being closed.

The Fir Tree, on Iffley Road, announced on its Facebook page earlier this week that it would reopen on November 3.

The pub said it could not reopen in July because the Victorian-style pub was ‘too small’ to ‘open safely at present.

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The Fir Tree has now announced that it is safe to reopen.

The post said: “There have been several ongoing factors that have delayed re-opening our doors.

“We had a Covid risk assessment conducted in August that will allow us to open with everyone’s safety in mind.

“The sticking point has been with a massively reduced capacity, the figures made very bleak reading in terms of a sustainable business.

“They have their critics but, on this occasion, Greene King has done everything they can to make it possible to open our doors again.

“It is going to be testing times ahead, not just for ourselves but for all of us in the coming months.

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“We will be looking to you guys for your support and in return, we should have some good offers and discounts for your loyalty.”

Joe Hill, the landlord of The Fir Tree pub, said: “The main reason we did not open any earlier is because of the finances.

“We had a covid assessment done in July and August, and because of our quirky, Victoria layout, we had to get rid of a lot of seating, such as bar seating, so we had a massively reduced capacity.

“We had to shed a few tables, which meant our capacity was then down to a third. This had a knock-on effect of having two thirds less of the income.

“If I had opened in July or August, I potentially would have been out of business right now because of the ongoing costs.

“A lot of the costs for us remain the same, even when we have a smaller capacity, but when you are only earning a third it would have been hard.

“It will be really nice to see our regulars and locals come back soon and then we can assess things every few weeks.

“We are hoping to keep some of the sports on. We will have all the relative signage and hand sanitizer stations."

The owner also added that he hopes the pub's quiz will return when it is safe to do so.

He added: “We will hopefully be opening the kitchen again in due course. We will have pizza and drink deals.

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“We’ve had a lot of inquiries about the vegan roast and hopefully that will be back and running in November too.”

“So drinks and pizza will be available in the first week; the roast should hopefully be available in November.

“Quiz night, which is always popular, should be able to still go ahead, we just need to double-check how to host it in a Covid-safe way.

“There will be fewer people, but hopefully they’ll still enjoy it.”