Here is what you can expect as the Suffolk Punch reopens with a new landlady at the helm
PUBLISHED: 16:31 09 July 2020
One of Ipswich’s busiest community pubs which closed earlier this year is to reopen on Saturday after a new landlady took over.
The Suffolk Punch on Norwich Road closed at the beginning of March, before any lockdown restrictions were being considered, when its landlord and landlady moved to a pub in Norwich – and its doors have remained shut for the last four months.
But now new landlady Diane Round has moved in from Gorleston in Norfolk – and brings with her years of experience running pubs and nightclubs in London as well as East Anglia.
She said: “I was due to open at the beginning of April, but then this happened – but now we are finally ready to get it open on Saturday and cannot wait.”
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The pub has been given a deep clean. It has been repainted and the bar has been revarnished to make sure it is spotless and easy to keep clean.
However regulars will notice big changes at the pub when it does open its doors again – it has a reputation as a popular venue for live music and karaoke.
Ms Round said: “I’m very keen to get live music back as soon as we can. I really like having that in the pubs I’ve run but obviously we can’t do that at the moment. And the pool table has had to go for the time being because we need more space to spread out the tables for people to sit at.
“When people come in, they’ll have to leave their name and phone numbers so they can be contacted if there are any problems and then they’ll order their drink from the bar. They can then collect it from the other end of the bar – or it will be brought over to their table. It will be different, but I hope people just want to get back.”
The Suffolk Punch has always been a traditional pub, built by Tollemache’s brewery in the 1930s in its “house style” – but Ms Round hopes to introduce some food and is already planning a Caribbean-style barbecue in the pub garden later in the summer if that can be done safely.
She said: “I’ve run several pubs and had a nightclub in London so I’m not too worried about this! At one stage I had three or four pubs, but now I’ve only got this and I’m putting everything into running it and making it a success.”
The Suffolk Punch will be open from noon on Saturday with Ms Round and a small team behind the bar.