Brothers bid to launch Portsmouth's '˜fun pub'

Two ambitious brothers are set to become landlords in a bid to launch the city's '˜fun pub' .

Thursday, 24th May 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:47 am
Vince Barnes, left, and Phil Estell at The Golden Eagle pub on the corner of Fawcett Road and Delamere Road in Southsea Picture: Malcolm Wells (180523-9890)

For nearly 20 years, Phil Estell and Vince Barnes have dreamed of running a pub, but the time was never right.

But in just days they will take over the keys for The Golden Eagle pub, in Delamere Road, Southsea.

On Easter Monday, the pair were sat in the pub enjoying a drink and listening to live music, when Vince felt inspired. Phil said: ‘Vince turned to me and said “What about this place?”.

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‘We knew that the long-standing owners were leaving. Vince said he could see a lot of potential in the place, and I agreed.’

The Portsmouth pair will move into the pub to oversee operations and get things ready for the launch on June 4.

Vince said: ‘One thing we want to hammer home with our staff is that the customer is king.

‘Whether we’re busy or not, when a customer comes in you acknowledge them. Other businesses let this fall by the wayside and we won’t be that kind of pub.’

The pub is split into two sections, with a large bar in the middle of the room.

The new landlords are planning to turn the back section in a relaxing coffee and wine bar, while keeping all of the music, comedy and all other forms of live entertainment front of house.

Vince added: ‘We’ll be changing all of the lighting and the furniture.

‘The most important thing to us is that we create a pub that is all about community.

‘There will be a number of open mic nights, be it musical or comedy themed, and in the back room we’ll be holding some events exclusively for women like pamper sessions, nail days, truffle chocolate making, you name it.’

Vince and Phil are both in a band, Free From Gravity.

In the past, the pair have used their musical talents to help raise money for homeless people in the city, a cause they will continue to support under their new enterprise.

Vince said: ‘We want to start offering breakfast between 9am and 11am, and we will also host food events for the homeless.’

Another important order of business the brothers have managed to nail down is selecting the house cocktail.

Vince said: ‘We cannot wait to introduce people to the Moscow Mule.

‘It’s a really tasty cocktail which is a great accompaniment to a hot summer’s day.

‘We’ll be serving it the traditional way, in copper cups.

‘But the most important thing to us is creating a space where anybody feels welcome. We want to be the fun pub in Portsmouth.’