Invincible Portsmouth pub ditches craft beer concept and goes back to its roots

Lauren Hall, the new manager of The Invincible pub in Portsea

Lauren Hall, the new manager of The Invincible pub in Portsea

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It was a trendy craft beer bar serving exotic dishes in an effort to be different.

But now The Invincible, in Wickham Street, Portsea, has gone back to its roots – and customers and staff couldn’t be happier.

Personally I think the pub looks much better this way, and a lot of the regulars have said they do as well compared to the craft beer bar.

Manager Lauren Hall

The pub has shed its updated image and brought in a darts board, pool table and fruit machine to attract the everyday crowd.

There’s a wave of national brand lagers and ciders now available again in place of a huge range of craft beers – though some are still available to try.

And this weekend the pub will mark the changes with a relaunch event.

A disco will be held tomorrow night and a female solo singer will entertain guests on Saturday evening.

Lauren Hall was appointed the pub’s new manager two weeks ago.

And she’s excited about the future.

The 21-year-old, originally from Emsworth, said she’s pleased with the changes and prefers the route the venue has taken.

She said: ‘HMS Invincible was a Portsmouth ship so we’ve also got old pictures of her back on the walls.

‘Personally I think the pub looks much better this way, and a lot of the regulars have said they do as well, compared with the craft beer bar.

‘We have received a lot more positive comments this time around, and so we are hoping it will work a lot better for us.

‘Obviously, we just have to wait for the word to get around and see what happens.’

Lauren has worked in two pubs before, which were heavily driven by food sales but at the same time kept a traditional feel.

She said: ‘At the moment, we’re focusing on getting customers in.

‘We have done some market research in the area recently to find out what people wanted.

‘So most of the changes are things that people have asked for.

‘Lots of people said we needed to put a dartboard in, so we have done that.

‘Everyone was going to The Victory pub, but it shut down, and people said they just wanted a nice pub to go and have a drink in. It’s more of a local now.’

Lauren says the pub plans to hold a charity night and live music could feature depending on the success of this week’s entertainment programme.

It was a year ago that The News revealed plans by The Invincible to repackage itself as a craft beer venue.

A wide beer range was adopted, with some drinks coming from as far as Hawaii.

And a new kitchen was installed.

Lauren says the pub is now no longer doing food, and is focusing on drink sales.

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