Situated in the heart of a housing estate, the White Horse Inn is the perfect place to go and have a beer and a chat after a long day.
Landlady Debbie Stevenson is proud of her boozer in Nobes Avenue, Bridgemary, being a hub for the working community.
But she’s also keen to attract more families and plans to ring a few changes.
In the new year, Debbie, 45, and the pub’s brewery Admiral Taverns plan to fork out some cash on refurbishing the place.
She wants to repaint the bar and replace some of the old furniture – but vows to keep it as traditional as possible.
And she plans to introduce real ale, a quiz night and daily food for her guests in the near future.
‘This is a traditional, working man’s pub,’ Debbie said.
‘We have our regulars and we don’t get a lot of other custom and we don’t do food at the moment. But I want that to change. We wouldn’t want to ever give the place a modern look, it’s not what the customers here want.
‘But the place is starting to look a bit old and is in need of a makeover.
Debbie admits that it’s taken a while to build up the reputation of the pub since she arrived two years ago.
‘It used to have a bit of a bad name and the place was shut down when I first got here,’ she said.
‘But I got that all sorted out.
‘It’s taken a while to get to where I am now but I’ve managed to get rid of the bad crowd and there’s a nice atmosphere here now.’
Every week there’s a meat raffle and local football team Bridgemary Eagles, which the pub sponsors, use the pub on Sunday afternoons.
A men’s darts team meet every Monday and on Tuesdays the ladies darts team turn up to play and there’s also free pool and use of the jukebox.
A pool team also comes along on a Thursday.
Debbie said she’s aiming to get more going on in the pub.
And the place is looking to celebrate Christmas and New Year in style.
Members of Bridgemary Eagles will hold a festive party at the pub on Sunday, December 23 with a DJ and buffet. People are being encouraged to come along in 1960s and 1970s fancy dress. The event kicks off at 7pm.
The pub is open on Christmas Day and punters will be treated to nibbles and roast potatoes at the bar.
On New Year’s Eve a live band will perform.
Barmaid Ashleigh Colman, 26, who lives in Gosport said: ‘Debbie is great to work for and I wouldn’t work for anyone else.’
MEET THE LANDLADY
LANDLADY Debbie Stevenson is a veteran of the pub trade.
Debbie, who grew up in Yorkshire, has worked in pubs across the country since she was 18.
Five years ago she helped her sister Tracie Martin take over The Barley Mow, in Ann’s Hill Road, Gosport.
Impressed with how the pair turned around the fortunes of the place, owners Admiral Taverns offered Debbie the challenge of running White Horse Inn - which she gladly accepted.
‘I have always really enjoyed being here,’ Debbie said.
‘I love working in a pub.
‘I like getting to know everybody.
‘In 12 months’ time I would like to see us draw in a lot of new custom in the area.
‘We’ve found that a lot of people who don’t come in here don’t because of the reputation it used to have.
‘It’s becoming a lovely, family pub which has a big garden with lots of space.
‘I want to be able to offer food on a daily basis.’
Debbie says she likes to team up with her sister if she holds any charity events in her pub.
And next year the family duo plan to take on a huge challenge for Breast Cancer Campaign when they ride through Mongolia on horses.
As previously reported in The News, they plan to travel 130 miles through the region for the worthy cause because their mum Mary has overcome cancer.
Debbie, who has a team of four barmaids and a cleaner at her pub, said: ‘I’m feeling really excited about it.
‘Though I expect it to be tough, it should be a good laugh.’