Euro 2020 excitement builds as Portsmouth pubs report roaring trade ahead of England playing Ukraine in quarter finals
PUB landlords say business is booming thanks to the Euros as watering holes across the area are fully booked for England’s next match this weekend.
Following their victory against Germany last night, the Three Lions are now set to face Ukraine in the quarter-finals, with kick-off at 8pm on Saturday.
Landlords across Portsmouth say that they have no spaces left for bookings or walk-ins on July 3, with Southsea Brewhouse and Kitchen, the George and Dragon, the Old Customs House, and The Southsea Village fully booked.
Vladimir Nasadovic, landlord of the George and Dragon in Kingston Road, enjoyed a ‘brilliant atmosphere at the pub during the last England game.
He said: 'I think we are already fully booked up for Saturday's game - the bookings went straight away.
‘The Euros have been really good for us. We're a sports bar at heart and so are getting so many people through the doors - it's just what we needed after the past year or so.'
Southsea Brewhouse and Kitchen on Southsea Terrace is also fully booked on Saturday.
Matt Jaffe, deputy general manager, said: We're really excited - football's coming home!
‘Although we're a busy pub anyway and I think people would have been here anyway.’
Nicki Henry, assistant manager at The Kings on Albert Road, said: ‘We don’t have spaces left. It’s going to be ridiculously busy Saturday and all of our tables are booked now.
‘Everyone that was here last night booked tables for Saturday and we’ve been inundated with calls for Saturday already.’
The Admiral Drake in Kingston Crescent, North End, and The Plough and Barleycorn on Tempest Avenue, Waterlooville, are also fully booked up, with no tables left for bookings or walk ins.
Sian Stephens, sales manager at the Old Customs House at Gunwharf Quays, said that people were booking tables for the quarter final before yesterday’s match had even started.
He said: 'As soon as the final whistle blew, we were fully booked up.
'We couldn't ask for this to come at a better time to be honest. The game against Germany had a great atmosphere, and it's nice to have a bit of normality like this.'
Rodney Watson from The Southsea Village in Palmerston Road added that people are even thinking ahead to the final.
He said: 'We've already started taking bookings for the final - so naturally we're also fully booked for this Saturday.
'The Euros have been incredible, both in terms of the football and for business. Although we can't be at full capacity yet, we can get around 112 people in, and it's just great to have that busy pub atmosphere again - especially when England win.'
The football fever is also benefiting The Northcote Hotel in Francis Avenue, which is fully booked with no capacity for walk ins.
Owner Barry Kewell said: 'The Euros has been very good for business - yesterday we were really busy, busy as we can be with the restrictions.
‘Everybody who was in yesterday booked immediately for Saturday - we're expecting around 55 to 60 people.'
But not every pub seems to be benefitting from England's tournament success.
The Churchillian on Portsdown Hill said the Euros could actually be hindering business.
Landlord Hugo Teixeira said: 'We still have some bookings left for Saturday, although there are limited spaces.
'Because of our location people have to drive to come here - that means they can't drink and watch the game at the same time, because they still have to get home afterwards.
'The football is actually hurting us but we're hoping Saturday will be a good day still.'
Angus Reid, landlord of The Chairmakers in Apless Lane, Hambledon, has decided to close his pub for that evening so that staff can enjoy the quarter finals.
He said: ‘All our staff watch it and it's only fair to give them the chance to relax and enjoy it after all they’ve been through. We’re food mainly, we don’t have a TV destination so don’t have much hype for the football.’