REGULARS have been left shocked and pint-less after a popular local pub closed unexpectedly.
The Hoeford Inn, in Gosport Road, Fareham, shut earlier this month with a notice posted on to its Facebook page citing ‘unforeseen circumstances’.
This prompted an outcry of support from the community, and pleas for pub owner Enterprise Inns to look for a new landlord.
Pub regular Andrew McKevitt, 50, from Gosport, said: ‘It was very sudden.
‘I’d often come in on Fridays after work, now I have to walk for half an hour to go to another pub.
‘The pub has closed and reopened a few times and had gone through a number of changes, but it’s still a shame. It was a great place for live music.’
Ward councillor Katrina Trott also said she was sad to see the venue close, as it often held fundraisers, including a recent one to raise money for St Francis Special School, in Fareham, after it was vandalised.
Cllr Trott said: ‘It’s a great shame. The Hoeford was a good community pub.
‘Pubs are closing because of the high prices they have to pay to suppliers, and the fact that people can drink for cheaper when they buy it at the supermarket.
‘This is bad because publicans can keep an eye on people’s levels of inebriation, there isn’t someone to do that at home.’
But the pub’s owner, Enterprise Inns, said that it was working to get the venue open again and said the landlords of the Market Tavern, in West Street, Fareham, were due to be taking over.
A spokesperson said: ‘Unfortunately our venue the Hoeford Inn is temporarily closed. However, we are pleased to announce that we are working with an experienced local operator who will be taking this popular pub on to trade alongside their current pub business, the Market Tavern.
‘They aim to reopen the Hoeford Inn towards the end of February and we hope that members of the local community in Fareham will visit to enjoy their hospitality and show their support.’