A new enterprise has opened up on Edinburgh Road, and property developer Mark Way and his business partner Grant Murphy have their work cut out for them.
The pair are preparing for an invasion of students as they officially open their new bar, The Study, in Edinburgh Road.
With an impressive overhaul and refurb, The Study offers reasonably priced drinks and home-cooked meals using local Portsmouth produce.
Above the bar, recently renovated student flats are waiting to be filled along with an American-style noodle bar which is sure to be filled with freshers come September.
The third stage to the mammoth development is the basement bar.
Mark said: ‘This is going to be a one-stop shop for students and young professionals looking for competitively priced, delicious food and cocktails.’
‘We’ll have the noodle bar, well-decorated flats, this new bar and the one downstairs which is fully air-conditioned and has a dancefloor as well as a chill-out area.’
A plasterer by trade, Mark decided to take this challenge on when the former pub at the site closed down in July last year. It used to be The Trafalgar, owned by Wetherspoons under its Lloyds No 1 brand.
Mark said: ‘We applied for a licence and the day after it was granted, we opened up and started work.’
Mark and Grant both have their own businesses outside of The Study, but it seems that the duo are enjoying this different style of business.
Mark said: ‘Running a bar and things like that, I’ve not really been as heavily involved as this before. It’s really interesting and it’s something really missing from this area. Students don’t have somewhere locally they can go to that can provide them with such a wide range of affordable solutions.
‘There’s a lot involved in what we’re doing at the moment while we’re still renovating parts of the building but so far, no day is the same!’
The business owners are passionate about teaming up with the local community. Not only do they use local produce, they even enlisted the help of a local designer to come up with The Study’s look.
Mark added: ‘We wanted the place to be a mixture of a fun night out and a chilled out space that people can relax in.’
‘We’ve got the blue cushioned booths that are really comfy and we set out these long tables in the middle of the room so that people could come and socialise as some of the students will probably be new to the area. It’s a safe space for them to enjoy.’