IN THE Festing, landlord Matt Chapman has found somewhere which suits him down to the ground.
From being manager of a massive Harvester, the 27-year-old arrived to take up the reins at the Southsea pub two years ago – and has never looked back.
The pub might be owned by the Greene King brewery, but he said it still feels like a friendly local tavern.
‘I’m given quite a free reign to do what I want,’ said Matt. ‘And despite belonging to a big brewery this is a proper Pompey pub.
‘Every match day we are full to bursting, and the local people are loyal and make working at The Festing a pleasure.’
Matt lives above the Albert Road pub, and said one of his first decisions after taking over was to convert the other upstairs space into a popular gig venue – The Birdcage.
‘I love going to gigs and watching live music so it just made perfect sense,’ he said. ‘We have bands here on the first and last Saturday of the month.
‘And we run a free festival every year – Fest Fest.
‘It normally draws about 25 bands and huge crowds.’
He added that since moving from Purbrook to Portsmouth he thinks he might have found the perfect job.
He said: ‘Music, football and drinking are the things I enjoy, so I’m pretty lucky to be in a position where my job covers all three.
‘But I’ve made loads of great friends here as well.’
And he must be doing something right, because The Festing was overall winner of The News’s Best Bar None awards last year.