TWO pubs with hundreds of years of history between them have closed suddenly when the landlord went bust.
The Old House At Home, in Locksway Road, Milton, and the Invincible, in Wickham Street, Portsea, shut unexpectedly yesterday.
Both pubs are owned by Enterprise Inns and they were being run by entrepreneur Steve Lant, 38, from Portsmouth.
Mr Lant also used to run the Eastfield Tavern in Prince Albert Street, The Nell Gwynne, in Jessie Road, both in Southsea, and the Froddinton Arms, in Fratton Road, Fratton, however these were sold on to new tenants last year.
He also used to run the Alma Arms, in Highlands Road, Southsea, which was sold to developer in June to be turned into flats.
Mr Lant posted on the pubs’ Facebook page: ‘As I’m sure many of you will be aware the company has been struggling financially for the last 12 months, due to the under performance of other pubs in the group.
‘A hard decision to dispose of pubs was made last year, unfortunately this was too little too late and after the exchange of the Invincible fell through and failure on being able to renegotiate a new tenancy/lease at The Old House we finally hit the wall when the energy supplier wanted to cut the power and Enterprise refused to supply beer.
‘This leaves me with no alternative but to close both pubs as I have been declared insolvent. I would like to thank all my loyal customers and friends and wish you all well in the future.’
Other landlords spoke of their sadness at seeing the two pubs close.
Steve Hudson, who owns the Shepherds Crook, Milton Arms and Wicor Mill, said: ‘We are sad to hear that two local pubs are closing. It’s not great times. People need to get out and support their local pubs or lose them.’
Both of Mr Lant’s pubs were closed and empty last night when The News called.
Adam Hogan, from Milton, had been in the Old House at Home the night before.
He said: ‘I only live around the corner and I came here for the first time in ages last night to watch the cricket. It was a shame. It could be such a good pub.’
Enterprise was contacted but did not respond in time.