Gosport pub bucks closure trend in £250,000 refit designed to place it at the centre of the community.
Twenty-one pubs a week are closing across the UK, but while you may have seen a ‘closed’ sign on Gosport’s Cocked Hat, it has certainly not pulled its last pint.
The pub, in Military Road, had closed its doors on 6 November. But on 24 November it reopened with a flourish following a £250,000 refurbishment.
General manager Danilo Lebato said it was a very exciting time and that he was looking forward to welcoming back familiar regulars, and new faces alike.
“It’s a massive refit, and so much work has been done. It’s been a long time coming. The place was a bit old fashioned and it was starting to look a bit tired, so we started from scratch. We want to give the community a pub they can be proud of,” he said.
The pub was worked on from the outside in, with the carpark and gardens receiving a well-deserved makeover. Inside, everything has been ripped out and replaced, from the carpet and the furniture to the bar itself.
“There’s no more orange! It’s an exciting, clean, modern feeling local pub and restaurant and we invite everyone to come and experience it. We want customers to come in and try our new festive menu, as well as our brand new standard menu, with gluten-free options.
“We’re really hoping this will become a much more enjoyable place for all people from all backgrounds to can come together for good food and drink.”
With so many pubs closing down, Danilo said the refit showed the pub and restaurant’s owners, Flaming Grill, were committed to the future of the drinking hole, which he hoped would become a community hub.
“We want to appeal to everyone in the family. From the people who like to party on Saturday nights, to older generations who like to sit in a quiet area to enjoy their favourite dish. We will have colouring for kids and plenty of areas for those who want to avoid kids: there really will be something for everyone here,” he said.
The new-look Cocked Hat will become a place to showcase local bands, with regular live music nights scheduled.
“Supporting local talent is really important to us. We are also really keen to support our adopted charity, Macmillan Cancer Care,” said Danilo.
The pub’s team recently raised £150 for the charity through a karaoke party and ladies cocktail evening, and they hope to build on this success in the newly re-opened Cocked Hat.
New regular features being introduced show there really is something for everyone. They will include karaoke nights, quiz nights, poker nights and cocktail nights. Revellers can enjoy free pool on Wednesdays and a free jukebox on Thursdays.
“Our refurbishment will offer a completely modernised environmental experience, and I think people who have been here before will be blown away by the changes.
“There are new menus, new management, a new kitchen team and, most importantly, new surroundings. People should come down with their friends and family to give it all a try.”