Ipswich’s McGinty’s set for a facelift to boost town centre pub scene

McGinty & Sons' pub in Ipswich. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

McGinty & Sons' pub in Ipswich. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

While the future looks uncertain for one well-known Ipswich town centre pub, another is set for a major improvement.

The Swan in King Street has closed its doors and its future remains uncertain as owners Ei Group have not said what is planned for one of the best-known pubs in the town centre.

However the future is clearer for McGinty’s in Northgate Street – it is being updated and improved with a major internal refurbishment.

Its owners Punch Taverns have been given permission by the borough council to carry out major internal works to the listed building.

The pub will have new bar and kitchen facilities and its toilets will be completely refurbished during the work.

Because it is such an old building – officially still known as the Halberd Inn – special permission had to be obtained.

In making the application Punch Taverns said: “The public house is very popular with the community, often acting as a meeting place for friends and family as well as being a popular location for people looking for a nice place to drive to for lunch.

“The proposals in this application will allow the pub to not only retain its current custom but also attract new customers.”

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The pub scene in Ipswich has changed significantly over the last two years. Wetherspoons closed The Golden Lion hotel on the Cornhill and sold the Robert Ransome at Tower Ramparts back to Yates’ which had owned it previously.

There were hopes earlier this year that the Golden Lion could reopen – but nothing has yet happened there. That could change once the work on the Cornhill has been finished if more people start using this town centre square.

The Mulberry Tree at Major’s Corner closed and is now subject to a planning application to turn it into a community centre.

While there have been no new pubs opening in the town centre over recent years, there has been an increase in the number of restaurants competing for the leisure trade with the transformation of the Buttermarket centre.

And there could be more restaurants and pubs opening in future with the possible redevelopment of the former BHS store in the Butter Market street – plans have been submitted for that work.