Sadness as popular Southsea pub closes its doors

The King Street Tavern in Southsea.  Picture:Steve Reid (120788-047)
The King Street Tavern in Southsea. Picture:Steve Reid (120788-047)

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A VICTORIAN Portsmouth pub faces an uncertain future after its landlord quit because of pressures in the industry.

Sam Foot said 2015 was the most ‘challenging’ year at the King Street Tavern in Southsea – and he had no option but to leave.

It means the King Street pub – which started life in the 1880s thanks to the former Brickwoods Brewery – closed its doors on Friday and will be shut for the foreseeable future.

But Mr Foot, who had been in charge of the pumps for nine years, hoped another tenant would be brought in soon to build on all his hard work.

Announcing his resignation on Facebook, Mr Foot said: ‘Dear customers and friends, after nearly nine memorable, sometimes challenging years it is with a heavy heart that I tell you all that my time as landlord of the Tavern must come to an end.

‘For the last few years, it has been increasingly difficult to continue to provide the level of customer care and service that I always aimed for, with this last year becoming the most challenging of all of them for various reasons.

‘I wish to thank you all for your support over the years and hope to come back (on the other side) of the bar soon!

‘So as from end of Friday the Tavern will be temporarily be closed.

‘New tenants are currently being considered and the Tavern will re-open after essential repairs and a general re-decoration of the premises has taken place.

‘Thanks and love to all that have enjoyed the Tavern over the years, may it continue to welcome new and old friends in the future.’

The pub was known as the Diamond for 150 years before being re-named The King Street Tavern in 2006.

An online review from last year said: ‘The walls are wood panelled and the bar is softly lit, with candles placed on the tables. A small collection of ceramic flagons are stood on the hearth of the fireplace to the right of the bar counter. A patio garden stands on the south side of the pub.

‘Live music (generally jazz) is performed on Saturdays.’