Life on the up at Havant community pub thanks to £70,000 makeover

Landlady Ann Redman with customer Brian Rymer and staff member Tracie Taylor  Picture: Jason Kay
Landlady Ann Redman with customer Brian Rymer and staff member Tracie Taylor Picture: Jason Kay

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It had lost its magic touch and was in desperate need of a lift.

Now The Prince of Wales in West Street, Havant, is enjoying life again after being given a major makeover.

Admiral Taverns spent £70,000 knocking through the lounge and public bars into an open-plan single drinking and eating area.

The interior has been freshened up and made to feel more welcoming.

And landlady Ann Redman says the work has gone down a treat with the customers and helped to pull in more trade – which was desperately needed.

The food menu has been given a revamp with plenty more snacks on offer.

The refurbishment was carried out while the pub closed for 19 days between September 7 and 26 this year.

Ann, who has been at the helm of the boozer for seven years, said she’s delighted with how things have turned out.

She said: ‘It’s definitely given the pub a fresh look.

‘The brewery has opened the whole bar up.

‘Originally it was just going to be a case of knocking down a wall, but then it went from there.

‘Everything has changed apart from the toilets.

‘We’ve got a pool table for the first time now, and the bar looks amazing.

‘It’s just brilliant. It’s got a good mix of a modern and traditional look.’

Ann is still keen to keep in place the things customers love – like the regular quiz, bingo and darts evenings.

While she’s not looking for a pool team just yet, the pub will be holding a charity game in December for The Rainbow Centre in Fareham, which supports children with cerebral palsy.

But Ann says the improvements were definitely needed to drive the pub into the future.

She said: ‘It was very much needed as a business.

‘When people were coming in before, a lot of them were going in the public bar as opposed to the lounge side.

‘The business was going down a little bit.

‘But now, we have very much seen an upturn in trade.

‘Whether it’s people’s curiosity, I don’t know, but it’s been over a month now and the weekend trade is good.

‘This has been much needed to move on, as it was stuck in the past.

‘It’s sad, because I do love the old pubs, but it needed to be changed to remain open.’

The pub has supported local causes over the years, including The Rowans Hospice in Purbrook.

Customers have also been encouraged to put their spare change in an RNLI charity bottle on the bar.