A CITY pub that’s popular amongst Pompey fans has been saved from permanent closure.
The Eastfield Hotel, in Prince Albert Road, Eastney, Portsmouth, has been taken on by entrepreneurial landlord Steve Lant.
It comes as welcome news to drinkers, who feared for the local boozer’s future after former owner Ian Ogilvie quit due to ill health last month.
Mr Lant also runs The Nell Gwynne, in Jessie Road, Southsea; The Old House at Home, in Locksway Road, Milton and The Alma Arms, in Highland Road, Eastney.
And despite taking over only on Tuesday, he’s busy ringing the changes.
Mr Lant’s ordered three new beer engines so more real ale can be provided and he’s seeking to increase the pub’s live entertainment.
‘It’s nice to take over a pub with a clientele that is already established,’ he said.
‘I want to move it forward and see if it can be taken to another level.’
Changes have also been made to some other stock and new brands have been brought in.
Talking about the added weight of expectation now on his shoulders, Mr Lant said: ‘There’s an enormous sense of responsibility, in terms of safety and such like, but also in making sure the quality doesn’t drop in any of the pubs.
‘It’s all achievable and I am training a team of staff through an apprenticeship scheme to ensure they are all up to standards.
‘Everyone seems really happy that it’s reopened and I have had some great support.’
Three of the pub’s original staff have been kept on and a couple that were there before haven’t been in contact.
As previously reported, the pub is a popular meeting place for many Pompey fans before and after a game.
Pompey director Ashley Brown, who has enjoyed meeting with friends at The Eastfield Hotel in the past, said: ‘It’s great news that the pub has re-opened.
‘We see too many of these community-type pubs shutting down.
‘There was a reasonable crowd of regulars that used the pub on match day and throughout the week.
‘I am sure that all of those folks will be please to hear that they have got a local pub to attend yet again.’