It was a run-down pub that attracted a bad crowd. Now The Fareham, in the town’s Trinity Street, has been turned around thanks to the hard work of Martin and Diane Munns.
The couple set about transforming the place when they took over 18 months ago.
They paid £25,000 to replace the carpets and bar and redecorate the patios, walls, kitchen and toilets.
A new hog roast and barbecue area and a smoking area with heating was also installed.
Now the pub’s message is clear – it’s here to serve the community.
Martin arranges days out for his customers – their next trip is to Goodwood Racecourse for Glorious Goodwood, which is being held from July 30 to August 3.
He’s sending them on a minibus and stocking it up with beer for the ride.
A beer festival with more than 24 real ales and ciders will be held before that at the beginning of June.
A barbecue will be held during the day and people will be urged to give some of their change to The Salvation Army.
A darts knockout challenge with a £500 cash prize is planned for the last weekend of that month.
Talking about the changes he’s made, Martin said: ‘It’s money well spent because the clientele has completely changed.
‘We get a mixture of people now – we don’t get youngsters coming in.
‘We get people coming in with their wives and girlfriends.
‘People are delighted with the way the place looks.
‘They say it looks a 1,000 times better than it did before.’
When Martin and Diane arrived, they were taking £1,000 a week – now they’re getting between £7,000 and £8,000.
‘We have always believed that a pub belongs to the community,’ Martin said.
‘It doesn’t belong to me or Enterprise Inns.
‘We wanted to give this pub back to the community.
‘We listen to what everyone has to say – they support us.
‘If it wasn’t for the customers then we wouldn’t be here.
‘It’s been hard work.
‘But it’s all been worth it because people who wouldn’t have stepped foot in the front door before are stopping by.’
Live music is held on Saturday nights and there’s a poker evening on Wednesdays. There are now two dart teams.
The pub is also committed to helping worthy causes.
In September, it raised £2,000 for Basics Hampshire, which provides equipment for volunteer doctors.
An event was also held on April 13 for MS Society UK.
Landlord Martin Munns is used to dealing with people.
The 48-year-old served in the Royal Navy for 35 years and rose to the rank of Petty Officer.
He spent the last two years of his career teaching young people at HMS Collingwood.
Afterwards, he ran the former White House pub, in Eastney Road, Portsmouth, for six months before its owner Enterprise Inns sold it.
The pub has since been demolished.
Following the sale, Martin and Diane moved onto The Fareham.
Though he was upset about what happened at first, Martin said he’s glad he moved on.
‘The White House had run it’s time,’ he said.
‘We wanted to run a pub that would get us going.
‘Though we were a bit down at first about what happened, we’re happy about where we are now.
‘Things are strong here and trade is building all the time.
‘We are going into food now, which is great because before we were just focused on getting the decorating done.
‘Now I concentrate on expanding that side of the business.’
Martin is passionate about his work and never stops thinking about it.
‘To be honest, we have just been on a cruise for a week and all the while I was away I wanted to be back.
‘I am quite happy here.
‘When I walk out of the pub Diane asks me what’s wrong and I tell her that I want to be back behind the bar again.
‘I love socialising and playing darts with the lads.
‘A lot of the people I knew from the navy stop by for a chat which is nice.’