A landlord vowed to open on “Super Saturday” despite a car smashing through his pub hours before lockdown restrictions were eased.
Ray Perkins said he was devastated when he discovered a vehicle had wrecked the side of The Swan Inn, in Little Chart, Ashford, Kent.
Like many other pub landlords, he had preparing to reopen on Saturday after they were forced to close in May due to COVID-19.
Perkins said he was asleep upstairs when he was awoken by the crash at 2am.
He told Kent Online: “We weren't hurt but with all the dust the smoke alarms were going off. It was a shock. We are very upset; the pub has a huge gaping hole in it.
“We're now trying to work out if we can still open. We had 200 people booked to come into the garden today.”
Perkins added they were waiting for structural engineers to visit to let them know if reopening was possible.
Pub staff lateadded on Facebook they hoped to welcome visitors at midday.
In an earlier post, the Swan said: “So 2am this morning the beautiful Swan was destroyed.
“Angry, devastated doesn’t describe it! Can’t go in as structure is now unsound.”
Police confirmed three 17-year-olds were in the car and were taken to hospital after suffering minor injuries.
One of the teenagers was later arrested on suspicion of taking a vehicle without consent and drink driving. He remains in custody.
A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police was called at 2.24am on July 4 to a report of a car colliding with a pub in The Street, Little Chart, Ashford.
“Officers attended along with South East Coast Ambulance Service and Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
“Three 17-year-old boys, who were inside the vehicle, were taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries before being discharged.
“One of these teenagers has been arrested on suspicion of taking a vehicle without consent and drink driving. He remains in custody at this time.”