See inside Ipswich matchday pub with big plans for comeback

The Falcon in Ipswich has reopened and manager Graham Hunter is looking forward to welcoming back hi

The Falcon in Ipswich has reopened and manager Graham Hunter is looking forward to welcoming back his customers. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A former pub beloved by pre-match drinkers has returned to Ipswich with big plans to bring back music nights. 

The Falcon, formerly Bowmans, which closed in 2019, has been taken over by Heineken, whose new manager hopes to turn it around.

The Falcon in Ipswich has reopened and manager Graham Hunter is looking forward to welcoming back hi

Graham Hunter used to work at festivals before the pandemic left him redundant. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mr Hunter, who lost his job at festivals due to the pandemic, returned to working in pubs last year after a five-year absence but has found it easy to get back on the horse. 

He claims to have recently turned around a pub in August 2020 that was not doing well in Rye, Sussex, which has now become a successful venue. 

And he hopes to do the same here but first, Mr Hunter says he needs to get to know the area. 

"It's hard to get the feel of a town but people here have been really quite nice," the manager, originally from London, said.

"I'm hoping to stay [in Ipswich] for a while. It's quite a nice area to be in." 

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He wants to bring in local bands, who used to play regularly at The Falcon, to play vintage and soul music. 

"We are going for the older crowd, he added. "We may do a students night on Monday or Tuesday. Going to see how the business goes." 

To do this he has reached out to other Ipswich pubs, the Plough and Black Horse, to get some band recommendations. 

The Falcon in Ipswich has reopened and manager Graham Hunter is looking forward to welcoming back hi

The Falcon in Ipswich has reopened and manager Graham Hunter is looking forward to welcoming back his customers. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The pub is also planning to do food when it really gets going and will try to increase its range of beers and ciders for more local offerings if Heineken does not object. 

It also hopes to rent out its upstairs roof garden for birthday parties when restrictions relax further and has already had one inquiry. 

Though the mystery surrounding why the Falcon closed in 2019 has not yet been solved. 

Mr Hunter said "he doesn't know" why the Falcon originally closed  but has heard they were "overstretched" with the Bowmans Club next door 

The Falcon in Ipswich has reopened and manager Graham Hunter is looking forward to welcoming back hi

The Falcon in Ipswich is looking forward to customers back in their booths - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The Falcon, which returned two weeks ago and officially opened on Monday, May 17 when pubs could open indoors, has opening hours of 11am to 1am Monday to Thursday and till 3am on Friday and Saturday. 

The Falcon Street pub will have the Euros on to watch during June. 

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