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New era for historic quayside pub set to host afternoon drag brunches

PUBLISHED: 13:12 28 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:12 28 July 2020

Landlord Andrew Livingstone/The Dukes Head pub in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Liz Coates/Submitted

Landlord Andrew Livingstone/The Dukes Head pub in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Liz Coates/Submitted

Liz Coates/Submitted

A quayside pub is celebrating a new era with a shiny, jewel-encrusted, logo and a growing food offer.

The Dukes Head pub has reopened with a new food offer. It is now in the hands of Andrew Livingstone, who used to run Quay Pride with his partner. Picture: Liz CoatesThe Dukes Head pub has reopened with a new food offer. It is now in the hands of Andrew Livingstone, who used to run Quay Pride with his partner. Picture: Liz Coates

Landlord Andrew Livingstone says business is booming at the Dukes Head in Hall Quay, Great Yarmouth, after moving from Quay Pride, an LGBT+ venue he built up with his former partner.

The Quayside Pub, the hub of the town’s Pride celebrations, is now up for sale but the party continues at the flint-flecked Dukes Head, one of Yarmouth’s most historic watering holes dating from 1609.

Its new signage features a crown decorated with six colourful gems, reflecting its rainbow roots - but overall it aims to welcome everyone under its “zero attitude bar” mantra.

Mr Livingstone, known for his performances as Miss Tish Ewe, said the pub was still a safe gay space and gay owned but with a more inclusive vibe.

The former Quayside Tavern, more recently Quay Pride, is up for sale for £99,995. It is listed as being sold subject to contract on East Commerical's website Picture: Liz CoatesThe former Quayside Tavern, more recently Quay Pride, is up for sale for £99,995. It is listed as being sold subject to contract on East Commerical's website Picture: Liz Coates

He said things were changing in the gay community and there wasn’t such a need for exclusive venues, with the stress being more on diversity and inclusivity.

At Quay Pride the offer was loudly announced as being of and for the LGBT+ community and the former pub was painted in vibrant rainbow colours.

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At the Dukes Head the rebranding had been more subtle.

The Dukes Head pub in Great Yarmouth has ushered in a whole new era with a growing food offer and live entertainment vibe (when Government guidelines allow) it was brought with it from Quay Pride. Picture: Liz CoatesThe Dukes Head pub in Great Yarmouth has ushered in a whole new era with a growing food offer and live entertainment vibe (when Government guidelines allow) it was brought with it from Quay Pride. Picture: Liz Coates

The 41-year-old said going into lockdown was extra frustrating because the pub was doing so well, often completely full on a Saturday night with its popular Wednesday curryoke nights still doing great guns as they did at Quay Pride.

However, it had meant they could work on the kitchens and bring more to the table in terms of food with roast dinners and fresh, stonebaked pizzas now on the menu.

He said: “We were just hitting our stride in February and on a Saturday night if you weren’t here by 10pm you wouldn’t get in, so it was frustrating.

“It is a very welcoming and safe space for anybody.

“It is very much a new era.”

With such a good following for live entertaiment it was disappointing not to be staging any during the pandemic, but in time he hoped to introduce afternoon drag brunches with bubbly.

Given the number of inquiries, many from hen parties, he said the demand was out there for a fun afternoon tea with entertainment including live singers.


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