The Old Customs House, Gunwharf Quays

REVAMP Old Customs House, Gunwharf Quays
REVAMP Old Customs House, Gunwharf Quays

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It was a tired looking pub that hadn’t been touched in more than a decade.

Now The Old Customs House in Gunwharf Quays has been given a new lease of life thanks to a massive refurbishment of the premises.

New wooden flooring, dining rooms, a chandelier and a new bar have been introduced as part of a £300,000 overhaul of the pub.

The work, which was paid for by pub owner Fullers, began on February 20 and was completed in just 10 days.

During that time the pub, which was opened as part of the Gunwharf Quays development 11 years ago, was closed to the public.

As part of the refurbishment, previously bare rooms were turned into shrines to Portsmouth heroes Charles Dickens and Lord Admiral Nelson.

Portraits of the historic pair and pictures of life in Portsmouth around the time in which they lived now hang on the walls.

The pub was reopened last Thursday and a ceremony was held with Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Frank Jonas.

Pub manager David Hughes, 46, said: ‘The place was beginning to look a bit tired.

‘It hadn’t been touched since it opened so I was delighted to see it get a complete refurbishment.

‘The response from all the customers has been fantastic.’

The pub building, which dates back to 1790, served as the administrative headquarters for HMS Vernon until 1986.

The site was then disused until it became a pub.

Mr Hughes, who has been in charge of the pub since it opened, added: ‘The place now has a fantastic blend of old and new features.

‘It celebrates Portsmouth and its history.

‘I’m excited for the future of this pub. It has a new sense of direction.’