Southsea pub starts 2012 with new owners

LANDLORD Jonathan McKerracher with some of his real ales.  Picture: Sarah Standing (110627-4513)
LANDLORD Jonathan McKerracher with some of his real ales. Picture: Sarah Standing (110627-4513)
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MANY would think buying a pub would be a risky venture these days.

But Jonathan and Kerry McKerracher don’t think so.

They have now bought the freehold to the Hole in the Wall pub in Great Southsea Street, Southsea.

Previous owners R&L Properties No 6 originally asked Jonathan and Kerry for an extra £7,000 on top of their yearly rental fees back in the summer.

Realising it would be cheaper to mortgage the pub themselves, they set about filing the paperwork and sealing the deal.

As certified freehold licence holders, the couple can decide what beers they want to sell and have complete ownership of the building they run on a day-to-day basis.

And its good news for punters because the newly-crowned licence holders have pledged their beer prices won’t be going up in the foreseeable future.

Jonathan, 41, said: ‘We bought the freehold because it worked out cheaper than our yearly rent charges.

‘What the company was asking for was far too much.

‘If we had accepted it then that would have had a knock-on affect with our customers.

‘We would have had to put everything up just to cover the costs.

‘All in all it’s great news because it means our beer prices won’t go up.

‘It also sends out a sign to our real ale drinkers that we aren’t going to be closing up any time soon.

‘It’s safe to say we’re in it for the long term.’

The pub plans to hold its sixth annual beer festival next year.

The week-long event, which will be held in October, encourages people to swap their lagers and spirits for a real ale.

More than 50 real ales will be offered on rotation.

The pub is also a rare outlet for the famous Grandma’s Weapons Grade Ginger Beer from Cornwall’s Wheal Maiden Brewery.

Jonathan said: ‘We love what we do and its exciting to see our business growing all the time.

‘We do a fantastic selection of ales from around the country.

‘We’re soon planning on ordering in pallets holding 18 barrels of ales that you wouldn’t see anywhere else in Portsmouth.

‘Breweries such as Magic Rock Brewing, in Huddersfield, and Marble Beers, in Manchester, have been in contact with us and we’ll soon be stocking up on their exciting range of ales.’

The Tangier pub, in Tangier Road, Copnor, also re-opened its doors earlier this month under new tenants after it was put up for let in September.