Eye: Town’s last pub set for new ownership

THE last trading pub in a Suffolk town that once boasted more than 20 drinking establishments is set for new ownership.

The Queen’s Head in Cross Street in Eye has had a chequered recent past and was closed for some time in 2009 after its landlords claimed they had become the victims of a hate campaign and had been subjected to an arson attack.

The pub, which has been run by its latest temporary landlord for the past eight weeks, has been on the market and is set to be turned into a freehouse as it is believed a potential new owner is in talks with Enterprise Inns.

The pub could be closed for up to three months for refurbishment work, a move that would leave Eye, albeit temporarily, with no drinking establishments.

At one point the town had 22 pubs and in the mid-19th Century it had 14 public and five beer houses, but by the outbreak of the Second World War that number had dropped to just 11, with the last, the Red Lion, closing a decade ago.

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Town councillor Charles Michell, who also represents the area on Suffolk County Council, said Eye was in dire need of a high-end establishment and a town of more than 2,000 residents needed more options. Mr Michell said most people in Eye looking for a quiet drink went to the surrounding villages.

He said: “It’s a great disappointment that there is no upmarket option and that there is only one pub which doesn’t always provide the facilities that people want.

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“We have more than 30 shops in Eye and I think a good pub would really seal its future. The tragedy was when the White Lion Hotel closed - it was an old-fashioned country hotel.”

Enterprise Inns said the pub was on the market but that a sale had not been completed.

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