A PUB that had been closed down and earmarked for housing has been saved.
The Vine Pub in Stoke Road, Gosport, closed on Saturday, August 3, igniting fears in the community about the building being turned into flats.
But now a couple from Havant have taken over the reins at the pub, and have vowed to create a family-friendly venue that everyone can enjoy.
Sean and Vicky Rowlands have run the events company Pick A Tune for the past six years, but are fulfilling a lifelong dream in taking on the historic tavern.
Sean, 28, said: ‘We were looking at a number of venues, but when this one came up it was impossible to turn it down.
‘All it really needed was a bit of a clean, so there hasn’t been too much work involved in getting it back up to scratch.
‘Both myself and Vicky have spent a lot of time working in bars in the past.’
Before its closure, The Vine was considered a sports-based venue.
But now the couple hope to change the atmosphere, combining the photobooth, candy floss machine and slush puppies of their current enterprise with the pub operation.
‘The goal is to transform this into a complete package,’ Sean said.
‘It’s something a bit different and will bring people of all ages together under one roof.’
For Vicky, 26, running her own pub is a dream come true.
She’s currently in remission for breast cancer, and says taking over the pub has reinvigorated her.
‘It’s been a dream of mind for a very long time,’ she said.
‘I’m nervous, but excited about welcoming people into the pub as well.’
Originally built in the 19th century as a tavern and tea garden, the pub was renovated back in 2002 after being shut for a decade.
With such a rich history, the couple are all too aware of the responsibility in front of them.
Sean said: ‘This pub already means so much to us, and we know how much it means to people in Gosport.’
The pub will reopen on Thursday, October 31.