PICTURES: High Street pub reopens under new management after refurbishment

PUBLISHED: 17:07 11 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:10 11 December 2018

Landlady Sian Powell, partner/owner Gary Berwick (left) and bar manager Callum Powell at the refurbished The Poacher, High Street, Portishead.       Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Landlady Sian Powell, partner/owner Gary Berwick (left) and bar manager Callum Powell at the refurbished The Poacher, High Street, Portishead. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

A Portishead pub has reopened for customers and its new publicans have promised to ‘change its reputation’.

Landlady Sian Powell, bar manager Callum Powell and Jess the dog (head of security) with owner Gary Berwick at the refurbished The Poacher, High Street, Portishead.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONLandlady Sian Powell, bar manager Callum Powell and Jess the dog (head of security) with owner Gary Berwick at the refurbished The Poacher, High Street, Portishead. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The Poacher, in High Street, has undergone an extensive refurbishment and a revamped food offering as it opened once again on November 24.

It is the second watering hole in the town’s High Street to reopen in the past month after the Old Mill also relaunched under new management.

The free house’s relaunch came as a surprise for owner Gary Berwick, a builder by trade who received an unexpected business proposal from Sian Powell, landlady of The Angel in Long Ashton.

The Poacher, High Street, Portishead, has reopened after extensive refurb.     

Picture: MARK ATHERTONThe Poacher, High Street, Portishead, has reopened after extensive refurb. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

He told the Times: “This has all come as a bolt out of the blue – I was working on The Angel when Sian called me and wanted me to come in as a 50-50 business partner.

“We have drawn up a plan of how we want to run the place and have kept the building’s old features while significantly improving it, the dining area has been upgraded and the menu has changed as we’ve brought in an experienced chef.

“So far the reviews and feedback have been overwhelmingly positive, our bar area sells premium beers and regularly changed guest ales.”

The Poacher, High Street, Portishead, has reopened after extensive refurb.     

Picture: MARK ATHERTONThe Poacher, High Street, Portishead, has reopened after extensive refurb. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The Poacher has been a part of the town since it was granted its first official licence 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 and has had a number of different managers over the years.

The public house was handed a food hygiene rating of one in September last year due to ‘a lack of hygiene documentation’.

The Poacher, High Street, Portishead, has reopened after extensive refurb.     

Picture: MARK ATHERTONThe Poacher, High Street, Portishead, has reopened after extensive refurb. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The Times reported in November pubs across North Somerset are shutting down at an alarming rate, with one in five closing their doors since 2008.

MORE: Alarming downturn sees one in five North Somerset pubs shut down.

A total of 65 pubs have shut across North Somerset in the past 10 years, with 20 closures taking place in 2017, but Gary is pleased to be bucking the trend.

The Poacher, High Street, Portishead, has reopened after extensive refurb.     

Picture: MARK ATHERTONThe Poacher, High Street, Portishead, has reopened after extensive refurb. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

He added: “The place was a wreck when I came in and it had a bad reputation in the town, but we are determined to change this.

“Pubs are essential to towns and villages across the country so to get this place up and running again at a time when most pubs are closing down permanently can only be a positive for Portishead.”

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