It was last orders for John Woods at the Bridge Bar, for the final time on Sunday night as the popular publican said farewell to customers and friends.
“Right, where do I start?...” said ‘Woodsy’, as he struggled for the best way to break the news last Tuesday (June 3).
He continued: “...after almost three years at the Bridge Bar, sadly, I have decided to call it a day. On Sunday night I will be closing the doors for the last time”.
“I’m devastated about it, very much annoyed” he said, “but it’s just one of those things. I had no other option”.
Explaining the decision, Woodsy said: “Things have got very difficult for the pub trade.
“I’ve been in it since 1998 when I started work in the Coach, and I’ve seen a downturn.
“Times have changed, and people don’t have the same disposable income now. I’ve had a great three years here and have made many friends along the way, some who I will always call friends.”
Surrounded by committed staff and customers, Woodsy paid tribute to them.
“There are far too many people to thank for their continued support and I’m sorry that it has come to this.
“I would like to thank Gemma and her family, and my parents and family for their support throughout the past few years - I really couldn’t have done it without them.
“Also my staff past and present for sticking by me - it was them that made owning here such a pleasure.”
Woodsy also gave thanks to the ‘Sunday Club’ - a group of people who have been coming along on Sunday nights for the past 30 years or more.
“Over the years some have passed on and younger ones have started coming along, but they have always been there supporting us.”
Disappointment at the closure was expressed by customers on Facebook. Ann Irvine’s said: “Feeling very sad about Bridge closing. We have many happy memories”.
Woodsy went out with a bang and ‘rocked the place’ on Sunday night.
His wife Gemma summed it up: “What a night at the Bridge Bar. What a send off. Partied til light (literally). We’re just home and John’s asleep already. Good night world. Off to pastures new — feeling excited with John Woods.”
As yet there has been no confirmation on future plans for the bar, which has been a part of Bridge Street for many years. but his many customers and friends will look back at Woodsy’s time at the Bridge with the fondest of memories.