REGULARS have celebrated the return of the Old House at Home in Milton, which reopened on Thursday thanks to entrepreneur Steve Hudson.
Scores of people went to the pub on its opening night to show their support.
Milton resident Tony Wood, 53, of Bertie Road, said: ‘I’m very happy. This pub is a very big part of the community – this is Milton village. Everyone comes together here and we are all friends.
‘It was very upsetting when we heard the pub was closed. It was a shock, so this is a big relief.’
Taylor McBride, 21, of Fratton, said: ‘It’s a nice, proper pub. I’ve been visiting this pub since I was 18. The company is great.’
Nick Hance, 34, of Milton, has been a regular for 12 years.
He said: ‘It’s a community pub. This area is where people meet up. At the end of the week, this is where everyone gets together and has a chat about how their week has gone, plays a bit of pool and has a good beer.’
Patrick Erridge said his family had been using The Old House at Home for 40 years.
He said they visited the pub in the days when Phyllis Smith ran it - who he says was Portsmouth’s longest-serving publican.
Patrick said: ‘We knew nothing about the closure and we were quite sad.
‘It was like my missus telling me to not come home. I didn’t know what to do. It’s a very close-knit pub. And now we’re back here showing our support.’
Barman Chris Foulger works as landlord at one of Mr Hudson’s other pubs - The Shepherd’s Crook. Chris said: ‘I’m happy and all of the locals are too. Local pubs are dying and dying too quickly, and it’s a shame because they are the part of the community in some places. If this had closed, it would have been a great casualty to the locals who come in here.’