Kimberley Lattimer took over the Falcon in Hambledon Road in November 2019 after dreaming of being a landlady since she was a teenager.
Now, after a first year during which the business has been closed more often than open, the 31-year-old plans to reward her loyal punters with a refurbished garden when her pub reopens next week.
The landlady said: ‘We have had a lean-to put across our whole outside area, and we have two heaters installed, with more to come. We also have two televisions outside for people to watch football.
‘We want to come back with a bang on the 12th.’
Kimberley is hoping the date will mark the end of a gruelling 12 months, which has seen the business throw away enough beer to pay for the garden refurbishment.
She said: ‘We’ve poured away more than £16,000 worth of beer since last March.
‘t’s been really depressing to see all that beer go to waste. We even had a beer delivery on the day before we had to close in December.’
But Kimberley counts herself lucky, adding: ‘After the first lockdown, this was the place to be. I had queues outside the door with people waiting to come in on a Friday and Saturday evening.
‘With my regulars and loyal customers, they have never stayed away - so I class myself extremely lucky.’
And it’s the loyalty and support of her regulars that means Kimberley doesn't regret following her teenage dream of running a pub, even after facing a global pandemic in her first year of business.
The landlady of the Stonegate-owned pub said: ‘Watching EastEnders since I was a teenager, it was always my dream to have my own pub - like Peggy Mitchell.
‘I had no idea what was ahead, and after this last year, I’m not leaving the pub until I’m very old.
‘I have still loved every minute of it – the good and the bad.
‘But I’m still waiting to shout “get out of my pub” to someone.’