Popular Ipswich pub closes its doors - as hunt is on for new managers
PUBLISHED: 16:30 05 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:21 06 March 2020
A popular Ipswich community pub known as a music venue has closed - and the hunt is on for new managers to reopen it.
Managers Gail Chenery and Rich Chalkley left on Monday, after managing the pub, near the Ferodo Bridge in Norwich Road, for the past year.
Gail said they had been managing it on behalf of their boss, who held the tenancy, but he had now decided to pull out to concentrate on other pubs. The couple, who are originally from Norfolk, are moving to a pub in Norwich.
"The customers were outstanding, and we were gutted that we had to leave," she said, adding: "The brewery did offer it to us, but it wasn't viable for us.
"I am sad to see the pub closed at this present time, and hope someone soon takes it over - it's a shame."
Gail said they had worked hard to build a reputation for live music and real ale, and had also held regular karaoke sessions which were very popular.
Owner Ei Publican Partnerships is currently advertising for new managers.
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On its website, the company says: "The Suffolk Punch is a true community hub, full of character and situated in a prime spot on the busy Norwich Road. This pub is well-supported by multiple football, darts and pool teams.
"There is a trade kitchen that could support a food offer and a rear beer garden that is perfect for relaxing in warmer weather.
"The first floor function room has its own bar and dance floor and could be utilised for events, corporate activity and by community groups."
Ei also says on its page that internal works have recently been completed, meaning the pub is in great condition.
The Suffolk Punch is a Grade II listed building, dating from the 1930s. The Campaign for Real Ale in Suffolk (CAMRA) describes it on their website as a "Tolly Folly" - one of a number of "vast mock-baronial estate pubs" which were built by the former Tollemache brewery, loosely based on the design of the Tollemache stately home, Helmingham Hall.
A spokesperson for Ei Publican Partnerships said: "We can confirm that the Suffolk Punch is currently closed while we recruit a new publican to take on the site. If anyone is interested in this exciting opportunity, or wants further information, please call our recruitment hotline on 03333 200036."