REGULARS returned to a cosy side street pub yesterday to celebrate it reopening under new owners who aim to bring it “back to life”.

The Foundry in Foundry Street, Brighton, welcomed the early evening rush of customers through its doors for the first time in six weeks.

New owners Richard Carter and Graham Shepherd – along with their staff – have spent the past week cleaning and getting the venue ready to welcome customers old and new.

Mr Carter said: “We took the keys over on Monday and the main priority has just been getting the doors open again and welcoming punters back to experience the great atmosphere here.

“We are looking to introduce a lot more stuff and continue working on the interior and exterior.

“A lot of work is still planned to bring this beautiful pub back to life again. All of the changes will be sympathetic to the pub. I don’t want to say there will be a full refurbishment because we are not trying to change the pub.

“We want to get the place up and running and trade through the first few weeks before focusing too much on decorating.

“Graham and I used to drink here when the previous owners were here and there is something about the place we both really love.”

Mr Shepherd said the pub was “ideally situated on a lovely side-street in the busy city centre”.

The fact it is slightly hidden away is part of the charm that locals said they associate with the venue.

The pub closed suddenly last month – and no one was clear why.

Regulars flocked back as it reopened at 4pm yesterday to enjoy their preferred tipple and relax in its familiar surroundings.

Mr Carter said: “It has got a really amazing local following and we have had to start our social media pages afresh but last night we had hundreds of people engaging with our online posts already.

“We have hired the manager who was here under the previous owners and have known him for a little while now.

“He is really passionate about the pub and it’s great having someone on board who really cares about it.

“There are a lot of commuters and businesses around as well as the regulars so it is great to welcome them all.”

The owners intend to bring back the old collection of beers, ales and wines that regulars know and love but also want to extend the range on offer.

Neighbours in the street had got together to leave a note on the pub door after the previous owners left.

The note said: “The residents of Foundry Street would like to thank all the loyal customers and friends of The Foundry pub for their business and continued patronage over the past years.

“It would have been appropriate for the owners to say this but as they can’t be a.... we thought we would.”

Years ago the pub was called The Pedestrians before it changed its name to match the street it is located on.