"Backstreet boozer” in Southsea finally now open after four months closure

A “proper old fashioned backstreet boozer” that has been shut for more than four months has finally reopened.
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The Apsley House pub in Southsea
Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 111123-40)The Apsley House pub in Southsea
Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 111123-40)
The Apsley House pub in Southsea Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 111123-40)

The new landlords of the Apsley House in Auckland Road West, Southsea, have been working “day and night” to get things ready. But despite the “mission”, Debbie Wilson and partner Jamie have now reopened the pub with a soft launch today (Thursday).

A large official opening is planned for Saturday from midday with a band playing live music in the afternoon. The pub shut on November 12 with pub owner Admiral Taverns looking to find a replacement for longstanding ex-landlords Paul and Claire Wicks since then.

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Debbie and Jamie, who also run the Marmion in Southsea, announced on social media earlier this week they were taking the hot seat. Now, speaking to The News, they revealed a lot of work has gone into getting the pub ready for the opening, though it will not be the “polished article” just yet.

They said: “We’ve been working day and night to get the pub ready for the Easter weekend. It’s been closed for over four months and was not in the best of health with a heap of problems. It is a work in progress but we’re sure people will be happy with the end result.

“It’s a pub that’s not lost its charm and is a place everyone will enjoy coming to. We have a band playing on Saturday and a barbecue on Sunday so hopefully there will be some good weather. It’s a real sun trap with a great location.”

The couple have also been working hard to get new beer lines installed as well as freshening the venue up. “We’ve rebuilt the fixtures and fittings after going to junk emporiums. We hope people like what they see when they come here,” they said. “It’s been a mission but we’re pleased with what we’ve achieved.”

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Nick Lawson, business development manager at Admiral Taverns, said: “We're delighted to welcome passionate new licensees, Jamie and Debbie, to the Apsley House who have been working extremely hard over the last couple of weeks to get the pub ready to reopen in time for the Easter weekend.

“It's a fantastic local pub that has been at the heart of the community for decades and I know the licensees feel strongly about continuing its legacy as a traditional pub that welcomes everyone. On behalf of Admiral Taverns, I wish them every success for the reopening and I very much look forward to seeing what's to come in the future."

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