It used to be a pub that attracted troublemakers.
Now the fortunes of The Golden Eagle in Southsea have been turned around and local residents who suffered abuse are happy again.
The pub, in Delamere Road, was forced to close at the beginning of June last year after a man suffered serious head injuries when trouble flared in the bar.
Four weeks later Louise Bastable and her partner Cliff Charter stepped in and cleaned the place up.
CCTV was installed, staff were retrained and in a bid to make the place cosier an open fireplace and brass ornaments were brought in.
The couple are now celebrating their first year in charge and say the pub’s problems are a thing of the past.
Louise, 47, said: ‘We arrived at an empty pub.
‘There were no customers and no beer, so we had to start from scratch.
‘We’ve cleaned the place from top to bottom and put our own little sparkle on things.
‘We wanted to make the place look cosier and more welcoming for the locals. And I think we’ve achieved that. I’m proud of the work we’ve put in. It certainly hasn’t been easy.
‘The locals are back and it’s busy again.
‘We have live music on the weekends now and that brings in even more people.’
The pub is a huge supporter of Pompey and last season staff dished up barbecues to supporters on the day of every home game.
A total of £696 raised from last year’s hearty gestures will be handed over to armed forces charity Help for Heroes on August 3.
The pub has also raised more than £4,000 for The Gurkha Welfare Trust, which cares for ex-Gurkha soldiers and their families, since 2001.
This summer the pub will continue its fundraising when it holds more barbecues and a curry night in aid of worthy causes.
Dates for future events have yet to be confirmed.
Cliff, 55, who used to be a computer consultant, said: ‘We now want to build on our success.
‘This time next year we would love to be a bigger live music venue.
‘No-one gets filthy rich working in the pub trade but we’re steadily ticking over and we get particularly busy when Pompey play.’
MEET THE LANDLADY
LANDLADY Louise Bastable knows a thing or two about running her own pub.
She first got a taste of the trade as a child when her parents Adrian and Jose Barnecutt ran Mr Pickwick, in Milton Road, Milton; The Yorkshire Grey - now called V Bar - in Guildhall Walk, Southsea; and The Guardsman, a former pub in Fratton Road, Fratton.
Before Louise took over The Golden Eagle she worked as a plumber.
But after realising that work was beginning to run dry, she wanted to try something new.
‘I turned to Cliff one day and said to him, “now is the time for us to run our own pub together”,’ Louise said.
‘We wanted to take over The Golden Eagle because we had been drinking in there since we were young.’
The couple met each other at a vinyl rock disco at The Royal Marine Artillery Tavern, in Cromwell Road, Eastney, two years ago.
‘I grew up close to the pub and Cliff is from Cosham so we’re both local people,’ Louise said.
‘We care about our customers.
‘We wanted to turn this pub back into a proper community back-street local.
‘We have great fun working together.’