Wickham pub The Roebuck welcomes new team with £20,000 investment and plans to take on more staff
AFTER a turbulent 18 months, a much-loved country pub is under new management, who have refurbished the pub and are set to take on more staff.
The Roebuck Inn on the A32 north of Wickham, has welcomed new general manager Barrie Fredericks, alongside partner David Harding and friends John Peers and Terri White, as the new team behind the bar.
The pub, which opened in 1820, has had two other publicans in charge over the last 18 months, with previous landlady Sara Pollard-Dambach now setting up a restaurant in Fareham town centre.
New landlord Barrie and his team have already spent £20,000 on the pub, re-stocking and decorating the traditional country inn.
Barrie said: ‘It’s mainly the decorations – coming into the pub, for our taste, it was a bit too dark. We’ve tried to keep the old building look with a modern twist on it.’
Now the former bus driver aims to improve the disabled access on the site, as a collision during his former role has left Barrie with a keen awareness of disability needs.
The landlord said: ‘I was in an accident in 2014 on a bus...I did the base of my spine and base of my neck in. So I have become more and more aware of disabilities. Looking at the patio, there could be easier access to the grass.’
The team hope to begin works to improve the access to the front and back of the building this winter, with the pub already having an easy-access disabled toilet on the ground floor.
And new roles will be available for job hunters in the coming months as the team looks to expand, according to Barrie.
He said: ‘We have had a typical shortage of staff in the restaurant. We still need a couple more.
‘It’s been a struggle – there have been hiccups, but it’s what you expect when you take over a pub.’
The pub stocks a range of beers from Hampshire breweries, as well as gins from the Portsmouth Distillery Company, based in Fort Cumberland in the city.
Former landlady Sara has taken over the former Ask Pizza premises in Fareham’s West Street, which has been turned into the restaurant McDambi’s of Fareham.