Why this Portsmouth pub’s cow is becoming the talk of the town

From left, Andy Rutter, Stuart Muir, partners at AG Rutter Ltd with Sean Barnes and Andy Hobbs, directors at the Eldon Arms pub. Picture: Sarah Standing
From left, Andy Rutter, Stuart Muir, partners at AG Rutter Ltd with Sean Barnes and Andy Hobbs, directors at the Eldon Arms pub. Picture: Sarah Standing

A COW that has taken centre stage in a Portsmouth pub has become one of the main talking points at the bar, according to the landlord.

A mosaic cow went up at The Eldon Arms in Eldon Street, Southsea, last month – and has quickly become a firm favourite among punters.

The pub was taken over by new owners in March this year, with Alexander Handley, Andy Hobbs and Sean Barnes reopening the pub to combine great food with popular sport.

Landlord Sean Barnes says that he was contacted by local firm A.G. Rutter, which donated the mural mosaic to the pub.

He said: ‘They contacted us a few months back, saying that they wanted to donate this to us.

‘They had seen something similar elsewhere and then created a scaled down version for our pub.

‘It’s great to have that sort of support from a well-established business in Portsmouth and they have given us quite a few helpful hints and tricks along the way.’

Sean says that the new addition makes for a very striking decoration in the pub, and has drawn a lot of attention from customers.

‘We thought it would look nice as a decoration,’ he explained, ‘and ever since it went up in the middle of August people have been talking about it.

‘If you are stood at the bar you can see it off to the right hand side – it’s got its own snug area.

‘Because it is so different and unique people are always talking about it, it’s a great conversation starter to have in the pub.

‘It stands out really well because it’s on a bright orange wall so the contrast works perfectly with it.’

Below the mosaic is a plaque thanking A. G. Rutter and ETW Ceramics for the donation of the piece, which was started in June.

Sean said: ‘It's something that people really stop and look at, and most importantly it’s something that we’ll always have with us.

‘The mosaic is very special to all of us here at The Eldon Arms – it will never lose that sentimental value to us and we cannot thank A. G. Rutter and ETW Ceramics enough for their generosity.’

Since taking over the pub back in March, with the backing of the EI Group, Sean says that business has been rapidly growing.

He explained: ‘Everything is going great – the food is doing well, people love our Sunday roasts and our customer base is constantly growing.

‘For the Anthony Joshua fight at the weekend there was barely place left to stand; it was an amazing feeling to see that in your pub.

‘We’re looking to always get better. It’s a very exciting time for us.’