Homesick expat moves entire British boozer 400 miles away to town in Germany

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A homesick expat has moved an entire pub from England to Germany because he missed the vibe of a traditional British watering hole.

Brit dad-of-two Paul John Moss, 49, has been happily living in Germany for 25 years, and said while the bars there are nice, he missed the special "scruffy but cosy English boozer".

When the New Crown Inn in Bridlington, East Yorkshire was sold to developers who wanted to turn it into luxury flats, Paul bought everything from the mahogany front bar, signage and beer taps, to the front doors and even the dirty pint glasses.

Almost all he left behind was the walls, and the sticky carpet.

He painstakingly deconstructed the entire venue and shipped it 400 miles to Iserlohn, near the German city of Dortmund, where it was assembled piece by piece.

And he finally opened up and pulled his first pint for customers on Thursday 17th June.

Paul offers a range of British classics like fish and chips, steak and ale pie, full English breakfast and a Sunday roast, and even the staff are from the UK.

The property developer, originally from east London, said: "German pubs are nice, but there's just nothing quite like a scruffy but cosy English boozer.

"I guess the idea to set one up here came from selfishness – I missed British pubs so we decided to do something about it.

"It's not something you can put your finger on but there's just such a nice, cosy vibe in an English pub – and we have managed to re-create that authentically here.

"So far it's been a raving success – we've had people giving great feedback and it's been packed every day.

"We're in it for the long run and hope The New Crown will one day become a pillar of the Iserlohn community. My wife thinks I'm nuts – all my mates think I'm a hero."

Paul, dad to half-German children Oliver, 21, and Olivia, 18, first had the idea to run a proper British pub in 2019 when he bought a restaurant near their home.

Even after living in Germany for more than 25 years with wife Heike, 50, he said he still craved the cosy British pub vibe that you '"just don't get in European bars".

He searched online for a pub to buy in England and came across the original New Crown in October 2019.

Already closed and set to be transformed into apartments, he put in an offer and flew to England with colleagues to remove all the fixtures and furnishings, and pack them into a shipping container.

Work began rebuilding the pub after the first German lockdown ended in July 2020.

The pub, which stocks more than 70 beers, is run by British couple Charles Gardner and Fleur Beakin, shareholders in the business, who moved to Germany from the UK to take on the challenge.

Paul, who has a black cab and red phone box in the garden, said the project cost "a tidy six-figure sum".

He said that on opening weekend their stocks of beer, which includes classic British ales such as London Pride and Newcastle Brown Ale, were almost depleted after temperatures of up to 35 degrees saw both British and German pub-lovers rush in for a pint.

"It's not just imitating an English pub, it really is an English pub – from the beer to the food and all the staff. It's completely authentic," Paul said.

He added: "People have been loving it – there is such a positive atmosphere here whether you're German or English.

"We've been packed every day so far, and with the added benefit of a heatwave, customers nearly drank us dry on our first weekend!

"It has a fantastic vibe and it's been worth the two-year wait."

  • Pubs
  • Food
  • Alcohol
  • London

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