Pub and music venue re-opening with giant mural

Greater Than with Green Bear music icon mural

Artist Greater Thank aka Justin Peach with the mural he has painted at The Green Bear. - Credit: Greater Than

An artist known for brightening up the seafront with his paintings during lockdown has turned to a busy high street pub for his latest canvas.

Regulars putting a pint to their lips when doors re-open at The Green Bear in Gorleston High Street will do so in the company of icons from the world of music.

Greater Than mural at The Green Bear Gorleston

Artist Greater Than aka Justin Peach with the giant mural which will greet people returning to The Green Bear on May 17. - Credit: Greater Than

The range of artists pictured from Billy Fury to Amy Winehouse and Suggs to Elvis spans the spectrum of genres played at the venue which before the pandemic hosted live music every Saturday night. 

Pub manager Sally Hodgkinson said the 16ft by 8ft mural was the perfect backdrop for the stage, and represented the venue's wide appeal.

It came about following a social media appeal by artist Greater Than, aka Justin Peach, who was looking for a large space to work on, bringing art into the community.

The Green Bear Gorleston High Street

The Green Bear in Gorleston High Street was renamed after JD Wetherspoon moved in opposite. The pub is open to all and is preparing to show off a new mural at the back of its music stage. - Credit: Greater Than

The mural, which was painted over the course of two weekends, features some of the musical artists whose music is performed at the pub.

As well as the artwork, The Green Bear, also known as Gorleston Social Club, has updated its beer garden.

Miss Hodgkinson said it would be good to re-open with something eye-catching and new for people adding to the excitement of re-opening on May 17.

Greater Than, a  married father-of-four from Hopton has displayed paintings along Gorleston seafront throughout the year and says he hopes they have helped to capture the mood of local residents.

From thanking key workers to reminders that pandemics do end his art work has caught the eye of local residents while out taking their daily exercise.

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He said painting the mural had been "a blast", adding: "This is the second pub I've painted my art work in, I painted The Tombstone in Great Yarmouth last year and really enjoy the challenge of working on a larger scale.

The Green Bear pub mural

The mural at The Green Bear featuring some of the artists whose music is played at the venue. Although it used to be a members' club the pub is now open to all. - Credit: Greater Than

"Most of my work is on canvas with a maximum size of about a meter square so this is a completely different way of working."

The Green Bear has been closed since the November lockdown and is aiming to welcome customers back on May 17 with reduced opening hours of 12-7pm during the week, and later at weekends.

Greater Than seaside paintings Gorleston

A painting pinned to the railings at Gorleston chiming with the national mood during Remembrance. - Credit: Greater Than

Live music will resume but without dancing.