Portchester pub landlords say trade is now back at pre-Covid-19 pandemic level

A PUB is looking to the future after welcoming a swathe of new customers – and getting the seal of approval from an MP.

Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 4:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 5:20 pm
Fareham MP Suella Braverman, Steve McInerney, Chloe Armstrong, and Scott Armstrong at Wicor Mill in Portchester.

The Wicor Mill pub in the heart of the Portchester community says despite a slight dip in trade they are reporting takings are back to where they were before being forced to close during lockdown.

Husband and wife landlords Scott and Chloe Armstrong took on the pub in June 2019. The child and dog-friendly pub has a 4.5 out of 5 rating on TripAdvisor and is proud to have created seven new jobs for the area.

The Eat Out To Help Out scheme offering customers a 50 per cent discount throughout August enabled the pub to welcome new customers through the doors and recoup money lost from months of being closed.

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Scott said: ‘The Eat Out To Help Out scheme was a game changer for us.

‘Whilst there has been a slight dip in trade overall, the customers we have now is no doubt because of the scheme and our food trade is back to where it was before the pandemic.

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‘Lots of our old regular customers are still shielding or staying away from public places so. Whilst we miss them, we’re enjoying meeting new people who visit us.

‘It’s a really tough time for the hospitality sector but we’re staying positive for the future.’

Fareham MP Suella Braveman visited the pub to learn about Covid-secure measures that are in place to facilitate the safe return of its customers.

She said: ‘I understand that this is a very difficult time for the hospitality industry, and I know just how worried landlords such as Scott and Chloe are.’

Scott added: ‘It was nice to hear our MP say the warm and family atmosphere is what makes the pub so popular. That is exactly what we’re trying to create and what we’ve worked so hard to do since taking over.

‘Myself and Chloe both have big families so we feel you can’t run a family business if you don’t portray that family feel to your customers.’

‘We are just so grateful for our customers’ loyalty throughout this time and are always looking to the future.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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