Once known for its raucous ska nights and football crowds, The Froddington Arms is fast shaking off its past reputation and transforming into a welcoming pub at the heart of its community.
And the transformation is down to landlord Antony Ettinger who took over the boozer in December 2017 and has spent 14 months working hard to clean up the pub and its image.
Now, thanks to a near £100,000 joint investment with pub company Admiral Taverns, the venue has had an overhaul and brought its garden back to life.
Antony said: ‘We have spent a lot of time and money on the pub. There was a lot that needed doing that people wouldn’t even think about but we are really happy with the end result, especially the garden. We can't wait for the summer to start running barbecue events.’
Antony, who originally trained as a chef, moved to Portsmouth from Southend in Essex. After several years managing pubs he decided that it was time to take on his own - and his search brought him to Fratton.
The 31-year-old said: ‘I had got to a point where I needed a new challenge. I came to Portsmouth to look at another pub and by chance came across the Froddington Arms. It was a bit touch and go as to whether I would get it, as there was someone else interested too, but I got the phone call in November and moved in in December.’
Since then Antony has set about changing the pub's reputation.
He said: ‘It was not in the best condition when I took it over and it needed a lot of TLC. It was focused on two crowds – ska and football. It was not a pub for the community. It’s taken a long time to open people's minds up to the fact that this is a pub for everyone and get them to welcome it as a proper local.’
As well as the refurb, Andy has plans to host quiz nights, students night and a monthly open mic night.
He has renewed the beer pumps and lines with the help of Marston’s, and is serving #PUP a beer made for the pub from the brewery, as well as Ringwood’s Razorback and 61 Deep from Marston’s.
He also hopes to start serving food in April - reopening the kitchen which has been closed for years.
Antony, who is living above the pub, has taken on a small team of six – which includes help from his mum and brother – and hopes for a busy 2019.