Eight pints pulled in first three minutes as pub's 'happy hour' returns

Michael and Ingrid McHugh

Michael and Ingrid McHugh were kept busy pulling pints from 9am at Uptown Bar in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Liz Coates

A pub garden in Great Yarmouth was brimming with early morning drinkers as restrictions relaxed.

By 9.03am Uptown Bar, in King Street, had pulled at least eight pints as regulars made a beeline for their favourite bar.

Owner Michael McHugh said it was "excellent" to be able to reopen the doors and get back to serving punters.

On Monday,  he said it was "all the same faces" who had turned out to sample a liquid breakfast at the venue where a pint of Fosters is £1.90 between 9am and 11am.

As one of only a handful of watering holes with a 9am licence it tended to serve the same band of drinkers who made it part of their daily routine - with Monday's pints being among the first pulled in Norfolk, he said.

Uptown Bar Great Yarmouth

Bill Wardale, his friend Vince and Tom McCarthy enjoy a round of drinks together as Uptown Bar opened its doors at 9am on Monday April 12. - Credit: Liz Coates

Among them was Bill Wardale who said it was a doubly exciting day because, not only was he back in the pub he was also able to return to his holiday home in Caister.

The 69-year-old former Merchant Seaman usually wintered in Benidorm but had been staying with a friend who had also joined him at Uptown Bar to celebrate its reopening.

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He said he was "absolutely delighted" to be back chatting with mates, adding: "It's the friends we have missed."

Uptown Bar Great Yarmouth

Stanley Gudgin gives a thumbs up as his favourite watering hole Uptown Bar in Great Yarmouth reopens. - Credit: Liz Coates

The 9am crowd of around 10 people also included Stanley Gudgin, 74.

He said it was "beautiful" to be back.

"I have really missed coming," he said.

"It has been lovely to put a pint to my lips. I could have done with a yard of ale."

Uptown Bar has been run by Mr McHugh and his wife Ingrid, the licensee, for 25 years, serving mainly older folk in the forty to eighty age group.

He said the pub had only been open for around five days in the last five months.

Uptown Bar in Great Yarmouth

Uptown Bar in Great Yarmouth is popular with early morning drinkers who were among the first in Norfolk to enjoy a pint on April 12. - Credit: Liz Coates

"We know that a few of our customers have been drinking with each other in their bubbles but they will want to come back to socialise.

"A lot of them have been counting down the days."

Mrs McHugh said it had been "lovely" to see everyone again.

The couple said they had been well-supported on Monday morning although a chilly start maybe kept a few away with people having to sit outside and be served at their tables under the Government roadmap rules.