Launch party planned as popular Ipswich pub reopens after closure
PUBLISHED: 17:33 25 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:18 26 November 2019
A well-known Ipswich pub which closed earlier this year has reopened - and is preparing for a launch party at the weekend.
The Grand Old Duke of York in Woodbridge Road closed in June, but is now starting a new era as a free house with a range of real ales on tap.
Chris and Sarah Mapey have taken over the lease and the pub will be managed by Hannah Creed.
In future, the pub will mainly be known simply as The Duke Ipswich. It is planning a party on Saturday, November 30, with live music from Ipswich band Chartattack, from 8.30pm until late.
Mr Mapey said: "Everybody is loving the pub's new look, and the reaction has been very positive. My wife and I run the Angel in Woodbridge, and have taken the Duke on as a second pub."
He said a lot of people had missed the pub and would be glad to see it back.
"Lots of people live within a few hundred yards of the pub, and the reopening has been very well received," he said.
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The pub was previously run by Steve Pipe, who took over the lease in 2017 and built up a reputation for live music gigs before it closed in June.
The Duke will operate as a free house and has a choice of 19 beers on tap, including nine real ales as well as other beers and lagers.
Mr Mapey added: "We will also be bringing in some of our award-winning gins from the Angel." The Woodbridge pub is known for specialising in gin, including many different flavours.
He added: "We're going to be working with some local foodies to offer some tasty bar snacks."
Nationally, there has been some recent speculation over whether any "Duke of York" pubs might want a name change following controversy over Prince Andrew's TV interview - but Mr Mapey confirmed the decision to rebrand as "The Duke Ipswich" was completely unconnected.
"There's no connection!" he said. "The reason we chose to change the name a bit is because the pub was previously known as a music venue. We wanted to have a complete change and set up a new Facebook page, and the Duke Ipswich name was available."
He added that the pub would still also be known as both The Grand Old Duke of York, which is the name over its door, and the Duke of York, which is on the sign at its side. "It is still the same pub, and I love the way it looks," he said.
For more details about the launch party and other events coming up, visit the Duke Ipswich's Facebook page.