Broads pub once visited by Chelsea players shuts for good
- Credit: Evelyn Simak/Geograph
A popular riverside Broads village pub that once saw the entire Chelsea football team drop in for a pint has closed down.
The Yare in Brundall has served its final customers after owners said factors including Covid meant they had decided to call time.
The pub, which is adjacent to Broom boatyard and Brundall railway station, had been owned and run by business partners Mike DiMarco and Paul Lancaster since the 1970s.
In a message to customers they said they had taken the decision to “regretfully” close at the end of November, adding: “It’s such a shame we finally have to say goodbye.”
“We apologise for the short notice but having considered all other options, none were feasible,” they said. “Old age, we’re both 70 soon, ill health and Covid and various factors all conspired against us.
“We would like to thank you all for your support over the years and as we are both remaining in the area we will see you around.”
Loyal regulars attended a final weekend send-off with many more taking to social media to express sadness at the closure.
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Dawn Hurrell posted: “What great memories we all have of some fabulous nights at the Yare. Thank you Paul, Mike and everyone who has ever worked behind that iconic bar. Will miss you, it’s indeed very sad.”
Denise Groombridge added: “We’ve introduced some of our friends to The Yare over the years and they’ve been overwhelmed by the nautical decor. They loved it and so do we.”
A highlight of 40 years behind the bar for Mr DiMarco, an ardent Chelsea fan and Stamford Bridge regular, was when the team took up an invitation to visit The Yare in 1982 after a league match against Norwich.
As Norwich managed to add to Chelsea's relegation woes with a 2-1 win, it was all the more surprising for Mr DiMarco when the Blues turned up on their team coach, accompanied by two police outriders.
Recalling it 20 year later, Mr DiMarco said: “The glamour era of Peter Osgood and the King's Road had long gone and Chelsea were at their lowest point near the foot of the old second division.
"Ken Bates had just bought the club for £1, taking on all their debts, and that's probably why they were happy to accept my invitation to the pub."