The couple in charge of a new pub say they are excited to be bringing a touch of class and style to Portsmouth’s Guildhall Walk.
Taz Shah and his wife Jo have taken over as managers of the Guildhall Village, a pub opened on the site of the former Yorkshire Grey.
The pub is the second in the city for owners Urban Village Pubs, an independent pub company founded by Ian Grundy and Gavin Drew, which opened The Southsea Village in Palmerston Road in 2017.
The company has spent £600,000 transforming the Guildhall Walk venue into a modern, contemporary and vibrant environment – and The Guildhall Village opened last week with a party.
Taz said: ‘There were lots of people here and they were very impressed with the investment. They were delighted with how the place is looking.’
The renovation has seen original tiled artwork and fireplaces uncovered, tasteful decor put in, a large bar and open-plan kitchen installed plus a comfortable second-floor bar area added, complete with table tennis.
It has also created 16 jobs.
Taz said: ‘They are a great team, they all get along together. I have been doing this job for 44 years and I have never seen a team gel so quickly. It is like they’ve been friends for years.’
Taz and Jo have moved in upstairs, leaving their home in Torquay. Taz comes from a long career managing pubs and clubs, which has seen him run the Square Moon in Southampton, the Old Mill Hotel Salisbury and Pop World in Plymouth.
But he says they are delighted to be in Portsmouth.
‘My wife loves shopping in Gunwharf Quays,’ he joked.
‘There is a great mix of people here, from students to the military to families and shoppers.
‘The place has been taken back to its brick and is looking stunning. People can come here and relax. We play good music at the right volume so people can sit and talk to their friends. It is bringing a change to the area.’
As well as six ever-changing cask ales on tap, the pub stocks more than 30 beers from breweries around the world. It also has a tasty, uncomplicated and affordable menu, which serves pizzas, burgers and more. It runs a two for one pizza promotion on a Tuesday.
The pub is open 11am until 11pm Sunday to Thursday and from 11am until 1am on a Friday and Saturday.