DEFIANT pub bosses celebrated the opening of their new restaurant with its controversial dragon mural still intact.

The Brewers Arms, in Main Road, Bicknacre, opened its new Drunken Dragon restaurant on Friday after a row blew up over the huge painting on an outside wall.

Chelmsford City Council had ordered the removal of the imposing painting of a large red dragon after claims the illustration was an “advertisement”.

However, after undergoing a £100,000 renovation project on the Brewers Arms, landlord Ben Davies and dad David were reluctant to remove the mural.

Former world heavyweight boxing champion of the World Frank Bruno, who was at the opening, had waded into the debate, calling for the public to “Save the Dragon”.

After weeks of campaigning, the pub has kept its now famous mural.

Following the Drunken Dragon’s opening weekend, Ben said: “Thank you everyone for the support over the opening weekend.

“Friday we were very lucky to have Frank Bruno to open the venue.

“On Saturday we had the pleasure of hosting a 60th birthday.

“Sunday was the opening of the restaurant and it was a great turn-out.

“We had to turn away just short of 40 people for lunch.

“Once again thank you to everyone who has been showing support and hopefully we will be seeing you all soon.”