A NEW cocktail bar and restaurant named Number 73 is set to open its doors tomorrow on the site of a historic pub.
Number 73 has been built on the same site as Waterlooville’s Wellington pub, in London Road.
Property developer Mick Forfar, from Southsea, bought the site earlier this year and he has spent £500,000 transforming it into a stunning venue.
He said: ‘It was just an old wreck. It has been completely overhauled, changed and transformed.
‘We’ve done a complete revamp. It’s not a traditional pub anymore, it’s a cocktail bar, wine bar and bistro, serving Mediterranean tapas with an open kitchen.’
Originally Mick planned to demolish the old building and replace the old pub with flats and two retail units to rent, but he decided that it was too good an opportunity to miss and has made his first venture into the hospitality industry by opening Number 73 and running it himself.
Above the bar and bistro there will still be properties, including four flats with some offered as short stay apartments.
Mick, 61, said: ‘We’ll be serving cocktails, beers, wine, we’ve got a self-service wine machine going which is new to this area. We’re expecting that to be very popular.
‘On the sign we have put The Wellington at the top, as a nod to what it used to be, we wanted to give it a different name so people know it’s not the pub that it was before, but we still respect the history.’
Much of the original structure has remained, however a new roof has been put on by Mick and his team, with help from BH Architecture.