LYME Regis’ own ‘little Ireland’, the hugely-popular Volunteer Inn, is to re-open this week in tandem with celebrations of another Irish icon.
The Volly recently had to close after owners of the family-run Broad Street pub discovered that, due to an innocent administrative oversight, it has been operating for several years without a licence.
But now that all permissions are being granted, the pints will be pulled once again on Friday, February 2nd when one of the most-favourite haunts for Lyme locals opens again – and marks James Joyce Day.
Joyce, the novelist widely-regarded as one of the most influential and important writers of the 20th Century, was born in 1882 on February 2nd. His 40th birthday was the occasion when his most celebrated work, ‘Ulysses’, was first published in its entirety – on 2/2/22.
Although the O’Donnell family, who have run The Volly since the death of the pub’s much-missed founding father and Lyme legend Joe in 2010, have yet to announce plans for the reopening, regulars anticipate that the return of the Guinness flowing in O’Donnell’s Bar will be a night to remember.
“Lyme without The Volly is like The Cobb without the sea,” said local ‘bar specialist’ Geoff Baker.
“It’s brilliant news that one of most welcoming pubs in Dorset will be ringing again with the laughter and good spirits that have always been its hallmark.
“And what better day to re-open than on the birthday of such another important Irishman? I hope it will be an occasion to mark the four great J’s of the Emerald Isle; James Joyce, Joe and Jameson’s.”
Speaking on the closure, a spokesperson for The Volunteer said: “The licensing department has asked that we renew our licence, which we are more than happy to do.
“We are re-opening our doors on February 2nd, selling alcohol from 11am to 11pm. To celebrate James Joyce’s birthday and the re-opening we are having a ‘Happy Day’. All pints, medium wine, house double spirit with mixer and premium single spirit with mixer all £3 each. All Irish drinks – pints of Guinness, Black Velvets, Jamesons, etc. – £2.50.”