Bar set to reopen at Portsmouth leisure park after disappearance of manager – but customers are still without money

Nelson's Bar in Portsmouth
Nelson's Bar in Portsmouth
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A BAR that was forced shut after its manager disappeared is set to reopen – but without a function room or catering.

As previously reported by The News, customers with bookings at Nelsons Bar and Restaurant, at Southsea Leisure Park, were left without venues for their events when it shut.

READ MORE: Couples devastated that wedding reception bookings will not be fulfilled

One man has claimed his deposit money back from Peter Challis, who leased the bar from the leisure park, but others are still out of pocket.

All events that were to be held at the bar have been cancelled.

Colin Powell, from Southsea, paid Mr Challis more than £1,000 towards the cost of his wedding reception, which was due to take place at the bar on August 3.

The 39-year-old and his fiancée are ‘angry and gutted’ to have lost the money.

‘I paid Peter hundreds of pounds,’ said Colin. I was due to pay more, but then about a month ago I found out the bar had closed. We panicked – Southsea Leisure Park told us Peter wasn’t coming back, so we had to look elsewhere – he’s ruined our reception.

‘It’s not fair he’s given someone else their money back but not everyone, I’m working with my bank to get the funds back, but right now we’ve lost that money.’

‘We’ve managed to re-book at The Jolly Sailor in Southsea, but we’ve had to cut down our guestlist.

‘We were supposed to have a barbecue and swimming pool – it was going to be a real summer’s day event.’

Fiona McIntyre, the general manager at Southsea Leisure Park, said the venue will re-open on May 4 as a bar only – the function suite is closed off. A new manager will work for the company until a decision about the building’s future is made.

Dallas Morgan was due to have his wedding reception at the venue on August 10. He paid a deposit of £250 to Mr Challis – and got a refund.

The 25-year-old, from Hilsea, said: ‘I found out the bar was closed earlier this month, so I e-mailed Peter to ask what was going on, he offered to refund me my deposit, which he did.

‘I’d urge others to contact him, it’s worth a try.’

Buckland couple Emily Woolger and Sean Restall, who previously featured in The News, have not found a replacement wedding reception venue for August.

Emily, who lost £50, said: ‘It’s unfair Peter has refunded one and not others, some people have lost hundreds, for me it’s not about the money it’s about losing the perfect venue.’