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A LEM N NO LONGER; New name for pub that grabbed stars' attention.

Byline: ANDREW PAIN

A MIDDLESBROUGH pub that caught the attention of scores of visiting celebrities has changed its name for a more local feel.

The Hairy Lemon has been closed for a number of weeks for refurbishment after being taken over by new owners.

But tongues began wagging when it was revealed the pub, which became the Hairy Lemon in July 2000 having formerly been The Marquis, was to change its name.

Being based on Corporation Road opposite Middlesbrough Town Hall, visiting comedians and entertainers have often remarked on the name in their routines.

On hearing the news comedian Alan Carr Tweeted: "Is this true? The Hairy Lemon in Middlesbrough is closed for a refurb and will be changing its name! This is a sad day for pubs and lemons.

"Can you imagine if the new name is The Bearded Orange?" In fact the pub has been renamed The Pig Iron, inspired by Teesside's industrial heritage. Pig iron is a material used in the production of iron and steel.

Pub manager Victoria Maughan said: "I really like the name. We needed a fresh start and something new. The Hairy Lemon is a great name but sometimes brought negative attention.

"The Pig Iron gives it a good local feel, it should strike a chord with local people and it's still a striking name."

The pub has been taken over by Amber Taverns and the refurbishment has seen new furniture, the bar being moved and a fireplace installed.

The function room will also be reopened.

Miss Maughan added: "It's looking excellent. Everything is coming together. It has changed drastically inside but we still have the same friendly staff that we are known for."

The official opening of The Pig Iron was yesterday.

Another famed person who took great interest in the Hairy Lemon was Morrissey.

At one point in his July gig at the town hall the singer, resplendent in a see-through sequined shirt, asked the audience: "Do you think I'm overdressed for the Hairy Lemon?" During the gig a short power cut occurred which saw Morrissey and his band leave the stage for a short spell.

When he returned he joked: "I've had to put 10p in the meter. The Hairy Lemon is sucking the juice out of Middlesbrough."

CAPTION(S):

CHANGES: The Pig Iron's manager Victoria Maughan and deputy manager Emma Lickard outside the newly renamed pub. Inset are Morrisey, far left, and Alan Carr who both enjoyed the pub's former name - The Hairy Lemon Main picture by MICHELLE MADDISON
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 28, 2011
Words:420
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