Victory for beer lovers after Portsmouth pub is saved

LANDLORD ''Steve Hudson.
LANDLORD ''Steve Hudson.
Helen Burch at her Southsea home, but still waiting for a bed Picture: Malcolm Wells

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BEER lovers have scored a victory after a Portsmouth pub was saved from closure.

The Lanyard, in London Road, North End, has been snapped up by publican Steve Hudson.

He bought the lease after former owners The Bramwell Pub Company went into administration.

As previously reported, the premises used to be North End Baptist Church before its £500,000 conversion in 2005.

Mr Hudson, who also runs The Shepherds Crook in Fratton and Drift Bar, in Southsea, plans to re-open The Lanyard towards the end of January.

He sealed the deal 48 hours after taking a keen interest in the place.

Mr Hudson hopes to make it a success by bringing in locally-sourced beer and food and ensuring there’s good sports coverage.

Live music and karaoke will be held on weekends.

And there’s a new Facebook page where pub-goers can suggest things they’d like to see.

Talking about his reasons for wanting to take over the lease, Mr Hudson said: ‘It’s a beautiful pub. It’s really nice.

‘It’s in a great location.

‘When I heard it was closed I thought it was a good opportunity for me to take it on.

‘Hopefully I’ll be able to take on some of the old staff.

‘We are going to be getting in local ale and I’ve already spoken to Malcolm Irving from Irving Brewery about it.’

Mr Hudson said he didn’t consider buying nearby pub The Fountain, which has also closed, because the cost of rent applied by its owners Enterprise Inns is too much.

‘Unfortunately, the difference between the two pubs is The Lanyard is a free house,’ he said.

‘It’s been a difficult time in the pub trade but business has been quite good.

‘The overheads are going up all the time, as is the cost of beer.

‘We’re able to be successful because we offer competitive pricing.

‘We put everything back into a business. We don’t take anything out.’

Councillor Leo Madden, a member of the Liberal Democrats who represents the area, said: ‘It’s great news that this pub has been saved.

‘We are seeing lots of pubs close and usually they are left vacant for some time.

‘In North End, we’ve seen The Blue Anchor close and re-open and The Fountain close.

‘If someone is willing to come in and open The Lanyard again, then that will be a boost for the area.