Love Your Local: The Fighting Cocks, Alverstoke

PINTS AND A PONY From left, Shetland pony Albie with landlords Sybilla and Adam Pearce  Picture: Allan Hutchings (150203-972)
PINTS AND A PONY From left, Shetland pony Albie with landlords Sybilla and Adam Pearce Picture: Allan Hutchings (150203-972)
The Highfield Campus at the University of Southampton, which is home to the George Thomas Building. Picture: Geograph

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Acommunity pub with big ambitions for the future has declared its intentions to do more for the people it serves.

Fighting Cocks, in Clayhall Road, Alverstoke, was taken over around three weeks ago by hard-working couple Adam and Sybilla Pearce.

And one of their aims is to give children more to do and lure more families to the pub to bring the area closer together.

They aim to do that by turning part of their 100ft long beer garden into an area for chickens and a shetland pony to stay to keep youngsters entertained.

A new kitchen is also being fitted and a full-time chef will be taken on in the coming weeks before a food menu is rolled out.

Roast dinners are set to be served on Sundays and the pub could introduce a curry and quiz evening during the week in another bid to encourage extra footfall.

The opening hours have also been extended to midday until midnight seven days a week and the pub is hoping to pull in as many punters as possible during the summer months.

Adam, 33, said: ‘It’s the epitome of the community pub – the vast majority of people who come in know each other.

‘But they are also very accommodating to people to have never been here before.

‘New people have been coming to the pub since we took over because they knew of us locally and have heard good things about the pub.’

Adam admitted he is unsure whether the business will be a huge success given the current state of the pub industry – but he is working as hard as possible to ensure it is.

‘It’s always a concern working in an industry that may take a downturn,’ he said.

‘It’s too early for us at this stage whether it will be a success.

‘However we are going to do all we can to make it work.

‘We have got two young sons who live in the pub with us, and as a couple we are 33 which is relatively young in the pub industry.’

It’s hoped that should food sales take off, the pub will be able to spend cash building an extension to accommodate for extra visitors.

‘We have got a lot of ideas about what we want to do,’ Adam said.

‘We have got an incredibly large area out the back and we want to use some of that to bring in a shetland pony and some chickens.’

The pub serves three real ales and a guest ale will be introduced from next month.

Locals believe the pub is the second oldest in Gosport, behind The Fox Tavern, which dates back to 1735.