The Cocked Hat pub is familiar to the residents of Gosport, having held its place on Military Road for decades.
Two newly-promoted team members are pairing up to rejuvenate the Greene King-owned site. They have even helped to sign off a refurb costing about £350,000.
Marketing student Courtney Lipsham began her stint at the pub as a barmaid two years ago, working to fund her studies. Courtney has used the skills honed through her degree to breathe new life into the pub, and with help from newly-appointed manager Danilo Levato, she has been promoted to marketing manager.
Courtney said: ‘Danilo has been great. He came in with some really big ideas and definitely shares my vision.
‘In the current economic climate, pubs are closing down left, right and centre. Danilo sees how hard I work to boost The Cocked Hat’s online presence. I organise charity events, themed nights and post them on social media as well as Buy and Sell pages.’
Courtney recently spearheaded a Macmillan Cancer Support campaign, organising a charity karaoke night and ladies cocktail evening which raised £150. Previously, she enlisted the help of colleague Stacey Cassese, a cake maker, to bake professional cakes for a coffee morning.
The Portsmouth student also organised a big ‘Ibiza Weekender’, re-decorating the interiors, putting on a disco and filling the pub with inflatables to give it a beach-themed Ibiza vibe.
Courtney said: ‘People love the events that we hold. We have such a great, big space here so it’s perfect for organising birthdays and parties.
‘I feel as though a pub is the perfect environment in which to build marketing experience.
‘Yes, pubs are closing down, but if students use their part-time roles to build on their experience and utilise skills, they might improve business outlook and boost the local economy in the meantime. It’s a win-win!’
Courtney advised that a lot of research goes into keeping the pub popular. She said: ‘I’m constantly monitoring drinks and food sales to see what my next strategy will be. I also monitor the success of each event to see what people like and what they don’t.’
On November 4, the pub closes for two weeks, during which time it will be gutted and fully renovated. Courtney said: ‘This has been a long time coming. Hundreds of thousands of pounds are being spent on the refurb and I’m already planning a launch party which will hopefully include some special guests. I think people will be shocked and excited by the new-look Cocked Hat.’