Southsea pub is back and better than ever

From left, Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts, Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones, and Isle of Wight Council leader Jonathan Bacon sign the formal application for a Solent Combined Authority in 2016

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A POPULAR Southsea pub has reopened after five weeks of refurbishment – and the punters have been pouring in.

The Kings pub in Albert Road closed in February for a makeover and reopened at the end of March.

The pub has been redecorated and the main doorway has been transformed into a floor-to-ceiling window, in a bid to spruce up the place and bring in more customers.

Kevin Dore, landlord of The Kings, said: ‘I think The Kings is now the nicest place in Albert Road.

‘It’s a very old Victorian building. It was very tired because it’s quite a busy pub and there hadn’t been too much done to it for a while.

‘We wanted to make it more inviting for people to come into.

‘It just looks so different. It just takes people’s breath away when they come in now because it’s so different.

‘It just looks so much nicer than it was before. We are selling things that we didn’t sell before.

‘Our sales have grown. We are selling more wine so more ladies have been in.

‘We have achieved what we wanted to do. We have got a hard core following of locals and they are very loyal.

‘We have got a lot of new customers as well.’

Mr Dore has put his support firmly behind the Love Your Local campaign.

‘It’s unbelievably tough out there,’ he said.

‘I’m fully aware how tough things are.

‘Albert Road is a great place to be at the moment. It’s the best going-out place.

‘You can’t pick up a newspaper today without seeing how many pubs are going.

‘You just have to try and do something different and make a difference.’