Southsea nightlife – remember Nero’s, Joanna’s and posh nosh at Le Talisman in Old Portsmouth?

Back in the 1970s and early 1980s the places to go for a night out in Southsea were Neros, Club Tiberius, Joanna's and the Honkey Tonk Cabaret Bar
Back in the 1970s and early 1980s the places to go for a night out in Southsea were Neros, Club Tiberius, Joanna's and the Honkey Tonk Cabaret Bar

As you know, I usually place photographs on this side of the page but for a change I am putting in adverts from the 1980s to remind you of where you might have gone for a night out.

In the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s South Parade would have been the place to go. This part of the city, now closed down to entertainment, was the place to be if you wanted to dress up and have a good night out.

Le Talisman French restaurant was in High Street, Old Portsmouth

Le Talisman French restaurant was in High Street, Old Portsmouth

I must admit pubs were more my type of thing – a game of darts or cribbage along with a few pints of brown and mild. You could get 10 pints for £1 in 1968. 

We see, above, an advert for Nero’s disco and function rooms with restaurant. It was extremely popular, especially after 10pm when there was a continuous stream of taxis arriving.

It was part of the original Savoy Ballroom and Nero’s opened its doors in 1971. It continued until 1983 when the site became 5th Avenue, and then finally it was Time and Envy, which closed in 2007.

The cellar below Nero’s was the casino Club Tiberius where you could win or lose a week’s wages in a very short time, believe me. This establishment closed with Nero’s.

It was not all that long ago when you could have a steak meal for less than 4

It was not all that long ago when you could have a steak meal for less than 4

Joanna’s was more my type of scene and it appears to have remained open long after the other night spots closed down. But the Joanna’s of later years was not the place I remember in the late 1960s early 1970s. 

Perhaps someone can tell me what it was called at this period when there was a female DJ and just one bar where we all stood shouting at one another? I moved from the city to Surrey in 1972 and missed 10 years of changes that took place.

One of the top restaurants in Portsmouth was Le Talisman the English restaurant with a French flavour, below.

So popular was this eating place it was reservation-only dining. Imagine that today. It was located at 123, High Street, Old Portsmouth and run by Richard and Sue Buswell. When they moved on it became Lemon Sole fish restaurant. It closed down a very short time after opening. 

Seen passing HMY Victoria and Albert we see a steam pinnace travelling at speed

Seen passing HMY Victoria and Albert we see a steam pinnace travelling at speed

In the cellar was Crofts wine bar entered by a steep and narrow flight of steps. It has since reverted to living accommodation.

Not that long ago you could go to a restaurant and eat a fine steak relatively cheaply. At Hancock’s Steak Cabin in Guildhall Walk, in 1981, you could have steak with all the trimmings, plus a roll and butter, then dessert, for just £3.85p.

Seen travelling at a fair rate of knots, below, is a steam pinnace. I wonder if it is the same vessel in the Portsmouth Dockyard boat collection? On the starboard side can be seen the Royal Yacht HRY Victoria and Albert so this picture could be from 1911 – the year of the Coronation Review.