The Napier Arms on Woodford New Road has been refurbished by new owners determined to turn the reputation around

Mark Harris and his business partner Andrea Tongelova in the refurbished Napier Arms in South Woodford

Mark Harris and his business partner Andrea Tongelova in the refurbished Napier Arms in South Woodford Buy this photo

First published in Redbridge
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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter - Waltham Forest

The new owners of a pub which had a reputation for noise, erotic entertainment and flouting the smoking ban have vowed to turn into a family friendly establishment.

Mark Harris and business partner Andrea Tongelova have taken on a 20 year lease for The Napier Arms in Woodford New Road, South Woodford.

Former landlord Cameron Russell was sacked by brewery Enterprise Inns in 2012 after he advertised ‘Sexy live pole shows and intimate private dancing’ at the pub.

There were also repeated complaints about anti-social behaviour, prompting MP Iain Duncan Smith to call for it to be shutdown.

But Mr Harris, 50, believes he and his team can turn around the pub’s fortunes.

He said: “We have spent quite a lot of money changing the look of the pub, putting in an open plan kitchen and changing the windows.

“It was a little bit of blind faith. We didn’t know much about the pub’s past until the police and the licensing committee met with us.

“There is so much potential here. We want to make it as family-friendly as possible. We will be serving Sunday roasts in just over a week and dogs are welcome.”

Mr Harris said he has plans for the future of the pub, including a garden refurbishment in time for summer and the introduction of an a-la-carte dining menu.

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