‘The hours are long and there’s always jobs to do but I love it here’

IN CHARGE Chris Moon, general manager at The Eastney Tavern
IN CHARGE Chris Moon, general manager at The Eastney Tavern
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After Chris Moon took over The Eastney Tavern, he vowed to turn around the pub’s fortunes.

So he revamped its food menu, introduced themed dinner nights and encouraged more families to come through the doors.

And all of Chris’ hard work paid off because his pub, in Cromwell Road, Eastney, came out on top at The News Business Excellence Awards.

The local ran away as worthy winners of the Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure category at a ceremony inside Portsmouth Guildhall in February.

Chris, 33, took over behind the bar with his parents Denise and Chris Moon just over a year ago.

Chris, who grew up in Hilsea, said: ‘We decided to enter the pub for the awards because we felt that it had grown so much since we took it over.

‘We’ve turned around its fortunes and made changes which the locals are really pleased about.’

‘We couldn’t have won this award without the locals – they’re a fantastic bunch who really make this place what it is today.’

The pub is split into a restaurant, lounge bar and a sports area which has a dartboard and television screens.

Chris leads a team of 12 staff, which are made up of eight waitresses, three barmaids and a barman.

A team of four chefs also works around the clock in the kitchen.

Recently The Eastney Tavern hosted a short presentation on the art of fencing after one of the regulars urged the pub to support the sport.

Now Chris hopes to put on a charity fencing match against regulars at The Hole in The Wall, in Great Southsea Street, Southsea later in the year.

The losing team will donate cash to a charity of their choice.

‘Everyone really enjoyed the fencing evening – it’s something different which draws people in,’ Chris said.

In recent months the pub, which has three real ale pumps, sold roses to customers to raise cash for the Tom Prince Cancer Trust.

And a quiz night raised just under £400 for UK charity The Stroke Association.

Locals are treated to a range of subjects at a quiz night every Tuesday.

It is the first time Chris has tried his hand in the pub trade. Prior to taking over The Eastney Tavern he and his parents were property developers.

‘The hours are long and difficult and there’s always a 100 different jobs to do – but I love it here,’ said Chris.

‘It’s a fantastic pub and I can’t see myself leaving any time soon.

‘I’m proud of what my family and I have been able to achieve here.’