Pub party to mark major £300k revamp

New managers, new menu and new future: we take a sneak peak at what customers can expect at the Coach & Horses at Hilsea.

Thursday, 19th October 2017, 3:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:00 pm

One of Portsmouth’s landmark pubs is preparing to throw open its doors after a major £300,000 refurbishment, which has created nine jobs.

The Coach & Horses on London Road, Hilsea, known for its distinctive red turreted facade, will mark the revamp with a two day celebration that will include live music and a range of food and drink offers.

The popular pub closed its doors earlier this month to enable the extensive overhaul to be carried out. It is due to unveil its new look on Friday, October 20. There will be live music on Friday and Saturday night, and every Saturday thereafter.

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The pub’s new manager Gareth Pinhone says customers will discover a host of changes which will bring the unique 1930s building bang up to date while retaining its unique character and charm.

The popular ‘steak and fries’ style menu and drinks range is also being given a makeover, with more choices and new moneysaving deals.

“I’m really excited for the reopening,” he said. “There’s so much work happening right across the building.

“I am a local Portsmouth lad, and members of my family were publicans. So I can’t wait to offer something great for the city.

“It feels so good to invest some cash in to an area which means so much to me."

The revamp is just the latest set of changes at a venue that can trace its history back to its days as a 19th century coaching inn.

The original building was destroyed by fire and a new inn was rebuilt in the 1930s in its distinctive Scottish baronial style, with its unusual round castle-style hexagonal turret and parapet.

Beyond its unusual façade, is a spacious restaurant area offering plenty of room for diners to relax over a sizzling steak or a glass of fizz, while the bar area is large enough for sports fans to enjoy live action on the big screens, a game of darts or a pool challenge.

Mr Pinhone said customers will see a range of changes thanks to the £300,000 investment, but the same warm welcome and traditional ‘British pub’ atmosphere will be retained.

“We are really family friendly, and the whole team has a background in hospitality.

So while there will be changes in the décor, the warm welcome will be just the same as ever,” he added.

The Coach & Horses is part of the Greene King chain of pubs, while its Flaming Grill menu is known for its quality burgers, steaks, fries and hearty pub food, and value for money. Special offers, daily deals on food and drink and happy hour discounts means customers can dine out and enjoy the community atmosphere of their local pub, without breaking the bank.

The grand reopening will kick off a series of live music Saturday sessions and a busy calendar of seasonal events in the lead up to Christmas. There are also plans to support a variety of charities.

Mr Pinhone urged regulars and new customers to join in the re-opening celebrations.

“There is so much going on, whether you know the Coach & Horses already or not, I’d say to people to come and see what it is all about.

“When people ask how I would describe this pub I would say it’s fun, and everyone can relate to a bit of it.

Find out more about the Coach & Horses reopening weekend by checking their Facebook page or go to and search “Coach & Horses”