Black Horse pub reopens - with wide range of live music on the bill

The Black Horse in Ipswich has now reopened, with new tenant James Keegan Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Black Horse in Ipswich has now reopened, with new tenant James Keegan Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

The historic Black Horse pub near Ipswich town centre has reopened, with new faces behind the bar and wide-ranging live music gigs.

James Keegan is now running The Black Horse pub in Ipswich, which has reopened Picture: SARAH LUCY

James Keegan is now running The Black Horse pub in Ipswich, which has reopened Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

New tenants James Keegan and his stepdad, Vince Gorman, are running the pub together with other family members.

The pub, in Black Horse Lane, had been shut since lockdown. Now the new managers are hoping customers will support their local as word of the reopening spreads.

They are holding regular music nights in the garden on Saturdays, which are already proving successful, although numbers have to be limited because of social distancing.

Vince said: “The music nights are going well. We are getting fully booked on Saturday nights for the gigs.”

James Keegan behind the bar at the Black Horse pub in Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

James Keegan behind the bar at the Black Horse pub in Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

He added the music ends by 10.30 or 11pm to avoid noise problems for neighbours.

In the past, the Black Horse was known as a heavy rock venue, but the new managers said they want to play a wider range of music and appeal to the whole community.

Most Read

Vince and James posted on the pub’s Facebook page when they took over to welcome customers. They said: “We want to be known as a live music venue where we will organise for different artists to attend which will include soul, reggae, garage, tribute bands, rock and pop, 80s and 90s, everything to try and appeal to as many different music tastes and to attract as many patrons as possible.

“We hope that this gives you an idea of our vision and whilst we know we cannot appeal to everyone all of the time, we trust you will do your best to try and support us as best you can, as your local pub needs you.”

James Keegan at the Black Horse pub in Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

James Keegan at the Black Horse pub in Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Acts who have appeared so far include Mister H and All or Nothing, with Andre Smith, The Soul Project and Andy Ottley among those set to appear.

In addition to the music, the new tenants are hoping to start serving meals in the future, although this will involve work to the kitchen.

The pub, in Black Horse Lane, has served the town since the 14th century, and is believed to be the oldest of its name in East Anglia.

It is owned by Stonegate, which recently bought the Ei Group plc. Previous tenant Michelle Taft had been planning to leave in May, after submitting notice to end the tenancy agreement in February, following the sudden ill-health of a family member. However, she had to close down earlier due to lockdown and cancel her planned goodbye parties.

The historic Black Horse in Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The historic Black Horse in Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

For more information and updates about the pub, search for The Black Horse Ipswich on Facebook.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter