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Ringing the changes at Ipswich’s oldest pub

PUBLISHED: 13:54 28 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:56 28 September 2018

Staff at the Spread Eagle, in Eagle Street, Ipswich.
General manager Louise Weeden with Jen Fowler, Danny Gaskin and Luke Hirons

Staff at the Spread Eagle, in Eagle Street, Ipswich. General manager Louise Weeden with Jen Fowler, Danny Gaskin and Luke Hirons

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The Spread Eagle in Fore Street, Ipswich - by reputation Ipswich’s oldest pub - is now opening from 8am to serve coffees, teas and breakfast pastries.

The Spread Eagle, which is reputed to be Ipswich's oldest pubThe Spread Eagle, which is reputed to be Ipswich's oldest pub

The historic pub, now owned by the independent Grain Brewery, is extending its opening hours to reach out to a new daytime client based.

It dates back to the 17th Century and has many exposed beams and original features.

These are tough times for pubs and landlords and owners are looking for ways to extend their appeal.

In Ipswich, another historic pub The Swan has recently closed its doors, and its future is uncertain.

Could longer opening hours help safeguard pubs?

Wetherspoons have had a great success of introducing breakfasts across their estate.

Spread Eagle general manager Louse Weeden said: “It is all about showing people what we have here. There are a lot of local businesses and we hope to get more of them in.”

Grain took over three years ago and renovated the pub, and there is a snug room and a refurbished pub garden, she said.

Geoff Wright spokesman for Grain Brewery said: “The Spread Eagle has been at the heart of Ipswich life for over 400 years, we were so delighted to get the opportunity to breathe new life into this important part of Ipswich’s community. Opening early in the morning to serve very high-quality coffees seemed like an obvious choice for the Spread. It’s so well positioned between the town, waterfront and university for people to pop in on their way to work or the gym or sit and take the weight off their feet in the relaxing surroundings, while shopping.”

Grain Brewery, based in the Waveney valley, offer a range of cask ales and craft keg beers that are known for their distinctive flavours and the highest brewing standards. It also has two pubs in Norwich and runs the arts centre bar at Diss Corn Hall.

A dozen Grain beers are on offer at the Spread Eagle including a best bitter, a pale ale and a lager.

The owners of the Spread have teamed up with Has Bean Coffee, one of the UK’s top independent coffee roasters, to offer artisan roasted coffee sourced directly from the growers.

The Spread Eagle has new hours and is open from Tuesday through to Sunday each week. It is open from midday on Saturday and Sunday.

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