New manager at Portishead pub promises improvements

Sarah Collins is the new manager at The Poacher.

Sarah Collins is the new manager at The Poacher. - Credit: Archant

A Portishead pub, which has been a part of the town’s scene since the 17th century, is set for a new chapter and a fresh lease of life.

A new manager has been installed at the pub in High Street and promises to restore it to its former glory and make it a traditional pub that locals will be proud of, and welcoming for visitors.

Sarah Collins, aged 48, said: “All towns need a traditional pub in the heart of the community and that’s what The Poacher was and will be again. I am determined to make this pub something locals can be proud of. I am passionate about making this pub successful; I am listening to what the locals want and am trying to give them what they want.”

Sarah, a mother-of-two, was born in Portishead, attended Gordano School and has always been involved in community activities, from organising skittles matches to taking part in the annual carnival.

She added: “I have already made some changes which are starting to reap benefits.

“We have had a good clean, introduced a new menu with plenty of specials including low priced senior citizens’ lunches, some theme nights and a carvery.

“We have a programme of live music and discos for the weekends and we are planning some great deals for those who want to watch the sport on the big screen over breakfast, lunch or supper.”

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Sarah also has her sights set on organising quiz nights and other fundraising events for local good causes in the near future.

She is currently working on the under-used conservatory, which has now become another dining area but can also serve as a private meeting or function room.

Karen Croker, whose community group now meets at The Poacher on a regular basis, said: “Sarah has been like a breath of fresh air and always goes that extra mile for her customers. Her enthusiasm is infectious, but she has also made it clear she will not stand for any nonsense, which is good news for regular customers like me.”

The Poacher was granted its first official license in 1683 and was formerly known as The Blew Anchor. It changed its name again to The Anchor in the 1870s and became The Poacher in the 1970s.

The Poacher closed for a time in 2010 after a drop in profits and has since had a string of managers trying to make a go of it.