Pub next to pier opens its doors again after major refurbishment

Staff Andrea Pledge, Ellie Hardy, Susan Hazzard and Mary Ramsay celebrating 21 years in Cosham. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Beachgoers and seafront strollers can stop off for a relaxing pint by the pier now a pub has undergone a major refurbishment.

The Clarence Pier, which is owned by Brewers Fayre, has got a new look following a week of renovation.

The chain has spent a six-figure sum on the restoration of the pub in Long Curtain Road, Southsea, to give it a new look and bring business back to the area.

Regional operations manager Rob Ewing said: ‘We want to be the best family pub-restaurant in the area.’

The pub was closed while the restoration took place. It reopened on Friday, when customers got their first chance to experience the changes, which include new decoration, furniture and a revamped children’s play area.

Manager Kelly Windebank said: ‘This site was extremely tired and old. This renovation will massively help our reputation.’

She said her team was excited about opening the doors on Friday and they enjoyed seeing the surprised looks on their customers’ faces.

Regulars David and Glenys Stacey, from Reading, who visit the seafront each month, were at the opening.

Mrs Stacey said: ‘We always come here and we love it. It’s a lot cleaner and brighter now and what they have done with the colours is amazing, it’s really fitting to this naval city.’

The pub has been freshly painted, and the main walkways between the bar and chefs’ station are bright and airy but rustic with wooden bars.

The walls are painted white with khaki and grey-coloured pillars throughout to represent the military and naval colours of the city.

However, one of the biggest changes has been to the pub’s play area. It has opened a new, safe, secure children’s area called Play, which charges £3 for 90 minutes.

Ms Windebank said: ‘The play area is a massive change from what it was before. It’s partitioned off and is a lot better now.’

The renovation has expanded seating, meaning the restaurant can now cater for 196 people and it has also created new jobs.

Brewers Fayre is a national chain of 159 pub-restaurants, owned by Whitbread. More than 150 of these are next to a Premier Inn, like the Clarence Pier.

Brewers Fayre also runs pubs in Bognor Regis, Farnborough, Andover, Lymington and Aldershot.

Whitbread employs more than 48,000 people and serves more than 27m customers every month in 30 countries worldwide.

For more go to brewersfayre.co.uk or call (023) 9273 4622.