A FUTURE of a pub is unclear after it suddenly closed its doors before Christmas.
The Eldon Arms, in Eldon Street, Southsea, shut without any warning, surprising neighbours and other drinking dens in the area.
The rate of closures across the country is still alarmingly too highDavid Blaikie
Despite the pub reportedly being fairly busy, being used by university societies and putting on regular live music, landlord Sam Damarell shut the pub on December 22.
A security door has since been installed by company Enterprise Inns, which owns the building.
As reported by The News, French restaurant Kitsch’n D’or, just yards away from The Eldon Arms, was forced to close last year. The previous tenants said they were unable to pay the rent Enterprise was charging.
Gerry McLaverty, 67, of Eldon Street, said: ‘The pub used to be used by barristers and solicitors on a Friday afternoon and it was my local for years.
‘It has slowly declined.’
Nearby neighbour Anna Limpens said: ‘Sam was a really nice guy and community-minded.
‘It is sad to see him go.’
Jonathan McKerracher, landlord of The Hole In The Wall, added it was surprising the pub has closed given how busy they were during the festive period.
Local Camra activist Nigel Firth-Penney said: ‘The Eldon was one of the pubs back in the 1970s that helped start the revival of real ale.
‘It was always in the good pubs guide. It was very well known and popular.
‘These are bad times for pubs.’
A spokesman for Enterprise Inns publican partnerships said: ‘We can confirm that the Eldon Arms, Southsea is currently shut, following the publican’s unplanned departure on December 22.
‘We have taken the precaution of securing the property and would like to reassure the local community that we plan to reopen the pub as soon as possible.’