Two local lads from Portsmouth have opened the doors to their first pub with Ei Publican Partnerships, following a transformational £120,000 investment.
The Eldon Arms on Eldon Street, Southsea, has been taken on by childhood friends Sean Barnes (24) and Andy Hobbs (25), who have introduced Ei Group’s Barrel Top pizza concept and Beerista coffee offer to appeal to the local community and the students of Portsmouth University.
The pub officially opened with a launch event on 12 April with Deputy Lord Mayor, Lee Mason and local MP, Stephen Morgan in attendance, to support the young duo and their exciting breakthrough into the hospitality industry.
The new-look pub now boasts a fully restored interior, including brand new furniture, a custom-made bar and total kitchen refit. The Eldon Arms will also show key sporting events through Sky and BT Sports, including the upcoming World Cup. It has also introduced retro pinball machines, which gives the site a point of difference in the area, to encourage further footfall when it’s not match day.
Commenting on their new venture, Sean said: “It has always been mine and Andy’s dream to run our own business, so we’re thrilled to be able to take on this exciting opportunity in our hometown. We know this city through and through, having lived here all our lives and have seen what does and doesn’t work – we hope to use that, as well as our age to our advantage by ensuring the pub appeals to students who enjoy sport, great food and a quality beer.
“With Ei Publican Partnerships’ ready-to-use concepts, such as Barrel Top pizza and its Beerista offer, we’ve been given the guidance, knowledge and ongoing training we need to put together a winning offer. Andy has ten years’ experience working in kitchens, so the pizza offer will complement his expertise and create the style of pub we’ve always dreamt of running. It was fantastic to have our Deputy Lord Mayor and local MP lend their support at our launch night and to see so many familiar faces from the local community too. We’re very much looking forward to our future at the Eldon Arms.”
Ei Publican Partnerships, Regional Manager, Paul Gill added: “We’ve invested in a number of resources to support our publicans and help them build their businesses. With the tools we offer, we can help publicans like Andy and Sean, who don’t necessarily have previous experience running a pub, but have excellent knowledge of the local area and the passion to be successful.
“It’s really important to us that we give young people opportunities in the hospitality industry, so when Sean and Andy expressed their interest for the site, we knew they would be perfect for the job and were delighted to give them a helping hand by investing in their dream. The pub is looking great and I have no doubt they will thrive within the community, using their local knowledge and enthusiasm.”