Gosport pub Fighting Cocks returns after lockdown acting as community hub

Swordfish beer, spicy Scotch Eggs and dogs are all part of the Fighting Cocks family experience brought to you by an all-girl team.

Sunday, 13th December 2020, 3:11 pm
Updated Sunday, 13th December 2020, 3:16 pm

The Gosport local is welcoming back their loyal clientele of veterans and dog walkers as the pub plays a vital role in bringing everyone together.

The Fighting Cocks has quickly become a local favourite since 2015 when Syb Best took over as licensee and enlisted the help of manager Amie Jones, and head chef Savannah Orme to create a family-run feel.

Amie lived nearby who soon became part of the pub team.

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From left, head chef Savannah Orme, licensee Sybilla Best and general manager Amie Jones, The Fighting Cocks, Clayhall Road, Gosport. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (021220-16)

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She said: ‘I lived just a few doors down and started picking up a couple of shifts and then quickly took on a joint managerial role.

‘Now I get to run a pub in a lovely area.’

Syb, an experienced landlord, moved back to Gosport to be with her family and transformed the pub bringing in families from the nearby Gilkicker estate.

When Syb started putting out bowls of ice cubes and pork scratchings for her own dog, it soon brought in a new community of dog owners on their way to the beach.

Naval and submariner veterans from Cessac House are the regulars living next door and this year, Amie realised how the pub plays a vital role in connecting them in the community.

She said: ‘They use us as not only a place to get a pint but also as a way to meet people – it’s so important for their social interaction.’

The pub has a spacious, light extension and under Covid restrictions, now seats a total of 40 people in both the restaurant and bar areas.

As the only Wadsworth pub in Gosport, the pub is currently offering two of its real ales 6X and the spicier Swordfish, which is brewed in a rum barrel.

With the current regulations stating that customers have to buy a ‘substantial meal’ with their drink, Amie is keen to ensure that local regulars can afford to come along by offering a £7.50 meal and drink deal. And yes, that could include their homemade chorizo Scotch egg.

Although Amie is disappointed they will not be opening up as usual over the Christmas period this year, the pub will be open until Christmas Eve.

She said: ‘The decorations have gone up already, and we will be giving a warm welcome, it will be different but Christmassy.’

The Fighting Cocks is open Thursday to Saturday from 12pm-9pm, and Sundays 12pm-7.30pm.

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