Beer enthusiasts are celebrating after their beloved local pub was given a fresh lease of life.
The King Street Tavern was missed by all when it closed its doors in March.
But the Southsea venue was shut for a good reason – to allow for a major overhaul.
About £170,000 was spent on the refurbishment of the Victorian pub, which reopened in June much to the delight of the local community.
Most of the venue was kitted out with new gear; including hard-wood tables, a projector screen, a new charcoal-fired grill and a revitalised south- facing patio garden.
The bar was also refurbished.
New owner Sean Marshall said he’s proud of the changes that have been made – but has also been mindful to keep some of the pub’s original character.
And he’s relieved the venue wasn’t snapped up by a developer and turned into flats, like other locals across the area.
He said: ‘I tried to be very sympathetic to the original decor without spoiling it too much.
‘I worked closely with the design team to maintain high standards and to save the King Street Tavern’s future.
‘If it had been converted into flats, like many pubs in Portsmouth have, it would’ve felt like my heart had been ripped out.’
The changes also include those to the menu. Food is all freshly prepared from the kitchen and from the ‘charcoal pit’, which has a separate menu.
There’s a variety of continental beers on tap, as well as a selection of bottled beers, ciders and a wide range of ales.
The new pub is in partnership with Wadworth & Co Limited.
The firm helps to maintain the pub alongside the new leaseholders, a partnership, which Sean has found beneficial.
Sean hopes to pave a future for his daughter, Laura, 21.
He added ‘I want it to be a warm and friendly pub which is a hub of the community.
‘Hopefully the pub will become Portsmouth’s best-kept secret.’
The pub was known as the Diamond for 150 years.
According to the portsmouthpubs.org.uk website, its ornate front was put in by Portsmouth pub architect Arthur Cogswell, who was commissioned to design the venue in the late 1880s by the former Brickwoods Brewery in Portsea.
In 2006, the pub was renamed the King Street Tavern.