Pub on the hill reopens after new owners invest Â£235,000 in refurb
Sitting on top of Portsdown Hill, with views across the city, The Churchillian has long been a favourite destination for residents.
But in recent months, the pub has attracted some unfavourable reviews online as punters were left disappointed with the tired venue.
Now new owner Bermondsey Pub Company, which took over at the end of February, is hoping to change that perception – and it has spent £235,000 refurbishing the pub to bring it up to standard.
The pub was closed for four weeks to allow renovations to take place, with a party held on Friday to mark its official opening.
About 120 guests were invited to check out the pub’s new look and sample some of its updated food and drink menu.
Jason Harris, new openings manager, said: ‘It was a great night. We had a band on and a fire dancer. It was a brilliant event.’
The pub has been redecorated, with its toilets replaced.
It now features a function room upstairs which can seat up to 90 people for a meal, or host up to 120 people for a buffet, which Jason said was ideal for weddings, birthdays, or wakes, with beautiful views.
It has new additional outside seating and a coffee and cake area. Plus Jason said the pub was now welcoming of dogs, with areas for them to sit with their owners.
He said the menu has also been overhauled – with traditional favourites like fish and chips, burgers and steaks already proving popular.
Food is served seven days a week from 11am Monday to Saturday, and midday on a Sunday, until 10pm. The pub will serve roast dinners all day on a Sunday.
Six cask ales are on offer, and the draught offer has been updated.
Jason said: ‘Everybody loves the refurbishment. Feedback has been really positive so far.
‘The team have all been retrained and we are really looking forward to the summer. It is an amazing place, with amazing views.
‘We are working hard to bring up the pub’s reputation.
‘Bermondsey runs a number of pubs across the UK and this is our third in the area. We already run The Dolphin in Old Portsmouth and the Ironmasters in Fareham, both of which have been well-received.
‘We are planning to expand in the area too and are looking for more pubs. Bermondsey is a reasonable-sized chain but we look to keep it local. Keeping it local is our motto.’
The pub is planning on holding entertainment and quiz nights. Hugo Teixeira will continue as pub manager and the pub is looking to hire an extra six staff.
For more, search The Churchillian on Facebook.