How busy have Ipswich pubs been on the first day of reopening?
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
We took a trip to three of the town’s most popular pubs – Isaacs, The Greyhound and The Woolpack – to find out.
Pubs and bars have reopened for the first time bringing hundreds of punters to Ipswich keen to get their hands on their first pint of the summer.
Today has been dubbed ‘Super Saturday’, with bars, cafes, hairdressers and restaurants reopening their doors for the first time since lockdown began in March.
Some of Ipswich’s biggest names such as Isaacs, The Greyhound and The Woolpack opened their doors today and customers utilised cleverly organised, socially distanced tables to enjoy their drinks.
Queues formed outside Isaacs by the Quay this morning before opening time.
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The bar’s courtyard was packed with customers, some of who planned to say out long into the evening.
There were busy beer gardens at other venues across the town as well.
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Seb, who was sat in The Greyhound beer garden said he was “chomping at the bit” to have a pint with his friends.
He said: “We come here quite a bit and we know its got a nice beer garden.”
Asked if he had any concerns about social distancing he said: “Not really. They have the proper provisions and we are following the guidelines.
“I think it’s just the thought of a nice cold, poured pint that made us want to come down.
“We’ve seen a lot of each other but you don’t get the atmosphere you get in pubs.
“The atmosphere is not much different to how it would be anyway.
“Anyone that comes today is not going to sit by themselves. There’s going to be at least 2 friends, potentially more.”
Despite some apprehensiveness among publicans, the day started well, with some queueing outside for pubs to open.
Staff wore masks and clear signage was on display to show customers where to space out to.
The public were also asked to sign in on entry to ensure that their contact details were on file incase of an outbreak.
Marita Hunter-Rodwell, landlady of The Woolpack, said: “It is really nice to be open again.
“It’s been a long time coming and we’re are all very excited, but a bit nervous, but looking forward to what the day will bring.
“I think we’ve got a lot of controls in place. I feel like this is one of the safest places to be because people can’t be standing or loitering, they have to be sat down.
We’ve just got to make sure that we keep on top of it.
“Because of that we have had to put more staffing on, just to make sure people are adhering to the rules especially for the first two weeks.”
Asked how the pub had coped financially during the lockdown Ms Hunter-Rodwell said: “It has not been good. We need a boost from today.
“We were one of the few pubs which didn’t get a grant because we were over the threshold so we need the support over the next coming weeks especially during the quieter days.”
Another pub goer, who asked not to be named, said: “I’m not sure people realise how much of people’s lifestyles pubs are.
“This is a real boost for me and for lots of others.”