The new landlord of a pub which was banned from selling alcohol is looking to turn its fortunes around.
The future of the Compass Rose in Anchorage Park, Portsmouth, looked bleak after authorities stripped it of its alcohol licence following a brawl.
But now the local, which has its own restaurant, is getting back on its feet again and looking forward to a brighter future.
Pub owner Enterprise Inns has recruited a new landlord to clean up the pub’s image and make it a great place to be again.
The doors of the venue in Sywell Crescent reopened on September 1.
And now that publican Arnie Lerouge is in charge, he’s managed to recruit a new chef and a new menu is on offer.
The place has been given an extensive refurbishment and a coat of new paint. New toilets have been installed and better signs have gone up to attract customers again.
As reported in The News, the venue was stripped of its privilege to serve alcohol after 40 customers had a fight outside in the early hours of Sunday, April 6, this year after an 18th birthday party.
Ian Campbell, manager at the time, went on to be evicted and the pub was closed down while a new tenant and licence was sought.
Now those problems have been eradicated, Arnie says he is keen to promote the pub in a good light, but admits there’s still a long way to go.
‘It’s still very quiet,’ he said.
‘But we had a refurbishment, which was a good opportunity to wash away what it was like before so people can come in the pub and see a different atmosphere, and a difference in ambiance.
‘The Compass Rose is a lot about its restaurant and for me that has been the biggest challenge. This is a lovely area and we have got a really good set of locals.
‘There isn’t much competition around us. People who haven’t been here in the last 18 months are coming back. I think we are getting there.
‘It’s looking good now we have recruited a new chef and I feel a lot more confident than I did two to three weeks ago.’
‘At the same time it’s still very much a sports bar.’
Arnie said the pub is using local supplies and fresh ingredients to attract visitors to stop and eat there.
He is confident he’ll be able to steady the ship at the Compass Rose.
That’s because he runs another pub in Portsmouth - The Mermaid, in New Road, Buckland – which he helped turn around and transform into a popular local.
Around two years ago, the French publican gathered up a team of building contractors to help spruce up the land around the pub and give it a more family-friendly feel.
As reported in The News, the team knocked down old trees in the beer garden and put a layer of new grass in its place.
As part of the work a children’s play area and a gravel area for people to play bowls on was built.
He hopes to replicate that success at the Compass Rose and make it a thriving place to be again.
Arnie has experience of running four and five star hotels both in this country and abroad.
‘I have got quite a bit of experience working in a pub,’ he said.
‘I want to make sure we keep providing good quality food and service.
‘And I can say now for sure that our customers are going to get that.’
‘I hope it becomes as successful as The Mermaid. We have a nice beer garden there as well as dart and pool teams.
‘I want this to be a community place.
‘To run a good pub, you need good beer and you need it to be clean.
‘And in a restaurant area too, you need a good chef and keen staff.’