A Portland pub which has just undergone a £33,000 refurbishment had the ‘icing put on the cake’ when the villagers presented the licensee with a hand-carved marble plaque as a gift to say ‘thank you’ for keeping their local pub trading.
The Eight Kings on Southwell Street which is owned by 2013 Pub Company of Year, Admiral Taverns, faced an uncertain future before current licensee Gina Long took over at the helm in March. But, she has managed to turn its fortunes around.
Admiral Taverns were happy to support Gina in her efforts to make the Eight Kings the pub of choice in Portland and have given the pub a facelift. The outside has received a lick of paint, new signage and new lighting.
One local, John Broddle, who is a monumental mason decided to commemorate the new-look pub by producing an ornamental ‘welcome’ plaque which he presented on behalf of the village.
Gina, who used to work in the pub in her 20s, was overwhelmed to be given the gift: “It was a really touching moment. We’ve worked hard to get this pub back to where is used to be. The pub is the hub of the community and a gathering point for the locals and it was lovely for them to recognise what we are trying to do with the pub.
There was also a menu re-launch at the same time as the re-vamp so the pub saw lots of new visitors. Gina said: “There was a big increase in passing trade after the refurbishment. Lots of climbers and walkers have been in to sample the new additions to the menu. Hopefully when the redecoration of the dining room is complete we will see even more new faces.”
Salle Wroblewski, Admiral’s business development manager for Dorset, who has worked closely with Gina during the project, says: “Gina is a pleasure to work with. She has lots of ideas and a drive to make the pub successful. It really is going from strength to strength.”