Where once stood a huge, weathered wall peeling with paint and blackened in colour now stands a bright and brilliantly painted mural advertising a new, creative addition to Palmerston Road, The Southsea Village pub.
The independent beer house and eaterie, opened on the site that was once home to former pub, Owens, has undergone a massive refurbishment in a project which saw Rodney Watson and his team spend £1.5m in a three-and-a-half week transformatio.
Rodney said: ‘We ripped out everything including the kitchen, the draining system and the toilets. Everything has been completely re-built to create The Southsea Village. It’s miles away from the old Owens establishment.’
The pub has a much cleaner, more modern feel and is already a hit with the locals.
Rodney has been in pub management for 22 years. He has managed pubs in some of the busiest parts of London before moving onto a small, Greene King run pub on the river.
Rodney said ‘I wanted more of a challenge. My boss caught wind of this and called me up, asking if I’d be interested in running a huge renovation in Portsmouth. I jumped at the chance.’ The pub officially opened on June 23. As you walk in you immediately notice the kitchen, which is open-plan built so that you can see the chefs preparing food.
Rodney believes in quality and not quantity so that his staff can concentrate on creating the most delicious dishes. He has invested in a £12,000 oven which he believes cook the best pretzel bun-topped burgers in Portsmouth.
The pub offers a varied range of craft ales and beers and one of Rodney’s favourite features is the fridge sat opposite the bar. The fridge is fully stocked and designed for patrons to choose their own beer and admire the creative labels. You then have the option to choose your favourite shaped beer glass from the fridge’s side compartments. Rodney believes this offers the customers a more immersive experience.
A cocktail menu will shortly be launched and Rodney is happy to say that The Southsea Village’s range will be using fresh fruit to provide the tastiest beverages.
At the back of the building you’ll find ‘The Village Hall’, a fun, purpose-built room with the option for a game of table tennis. The Hall is available to be hired for parties or conferences.
A highlight on the Southsea Village’s calendar is the upcoming Palmerston Road Food Festival. Rodney is excited to offer locals pizza from his mobile van, a number of craft ales and the staff will also be putting on a hog roast.