Love Your Local: The Froddington Arms, Fratton

Natasha Adelaide
Natasha Adelaide
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It was a pub that struggled to keep up with others in the area.

Now the Froddington Arms, in Fratton, Portsmouth, is booming again thanks to key changes made by new managers Aaron Taylor and Natasha Adelaide.

The couple, who took over four months ago, decided to turf out away fans who used to stop by before going to watch their club play against Pompey at nearby Fratton Park.

It now means there’s been a huge increase in the number of Pompey fans coming in for a beer as they feel more comfortable.

Real ale is being served and a new event called ‘Froddy Friday’ – which includes a meat raffle, karaoke and disco – has gone down a storm with customers.

Trade is up nearly 40 per cent thanks to the sterling efforts of everyone who has helped make the boozer a better place.

Natasha, 33, said: ‘We couldn’t do it without the team we have got. They’re brilliant.

‘We have got all the Pompey fans coming in again, it’s a place they used to call their home pub and now they’re back.

‘We don’t have away fans in, just the Pompey lot.

‘We’re absolutely thriving on the days when they come in now.’

Natasha said the challenge when they started was seeing how best they could utilise the old, imposing building.

‘When we started we had our regulars, but it was a case of seeing what should be done next,’ added Natasha.

‘It’s such a big pub. Thanks to the live music we do now and the Pompey fans, things have gone well, and it’s been great getting to know the people here.

‘We are making more and more friends.’

While there are other pubs close by in the form of the John Jacques and the Trafalgar Arms, Natasha said the Froddington Arms prides itself on having close links to the community.

‘We have a brilliant atmosphere,’ she said.

‘We have the pool teams and the dart teams. It’s very community based.

‘It’s a great place to meet new people.’

There have been three pubs on the site since 1807, their previous names being the Plough and Spade and the Swiss Gardens.

It’s been called the Froddington Arms since the early 1900s.

Aaron, 37, said: ‘There’s a lot of history here. There’s not a lot of the traditional pubs left and that’s what people like about this pub. It’s a traditional boozer. If we can keep it going in the right direction then it should still be here for many years to come.’

Managers Aaron Taylor and Natasha Adelaide have fond memories of pub life when they were young.

Natasha said it has always been her ‘dream’ to run a pub and can remember the days when her nan ran one.

Aaron said he also spent time in his younger years at former pub The Unicorn, in Fratton Road, which was demolished in 2003.

Natasha said: ‘It’s always been my dream to run a pub.

‘It’s just something that is in my blood.

‘Working in a pub was my first job when I was 18.’

The couple took charge of the Froddington Arms after the opportunity was given to them by entrepreneur Steve Lant, who owns the lease of the pub.

‘We used to do some karaoke at some of Steve’s other pubs.

‘He gave us the opportunity to come here, for which I am very grateful for.’

Aaron said: ‘I never expected to be back in a pub in the middle of Fratton.

‘But it was my partner’s dream to get involved in running a pub and I wanted to give her the support and said that we should go for it.

‘Steve works hard to bring up the pubs that are struggling. The staff are great, everyone works together and are a team.’