By Patrick Knox
IT is a landmark pub in an old Southampton neighbourhood.
The Obelisk Hotel has been a local boozer for more than 100 years.
But last year the pub closed suddenly and many feared last orders had been called.
Then, after rising phoenix-like from the ashes, it was again threatened when the pub’s owner Enterprise Inns toyed with the idea of selling off the garden.
Fortunately this didn’t happen and Woolston has kept one of its best known pubs from being redeveloped into housing.
And new landlord Kevin Guerrier has been busy restoring the watering hole to its former glory with real ale, a revamped menu and a busy events programme.
However, while Kevin has worked hard fixing the place up, he has thankfully retained the original features and decorated it with various nick-nacks found in the cellar.
The upshot is a good specimen of an old school pub, once so common but now increasingly rare.
There’s the cosy saloon bar to nurse a pint or two and next door the livelier main bar with a pool table, dartboard and space for live music.
There is a quiz night every Tuesday, with free chip butties and a round of drinks for the winners.
But best of all is the beer. Kevin is a fully paid-up member of the Campaign for Real Ale and looks after a wide range of ales.
While mainly a drinkers’ pub, the food is of a good standard with the pleasant restaurant area adjoining what has to be one of Southampton’s largest beer gardens.
This south facing sun trap is particularly great for kids who are welcomed throughout the pub. There is even a crèche area in the restaurant.
A must are the burgers, which are a speciality. A new menu is about to be launched, this includes The Obelisk Messy Burger, a 6oz burger with sauce, lettuce, pickled gherkin, tomato, grilled Cheddar cheese, bacon, sausage and onion rings – and then topped with a fried egg.
And if that is not enough, there is the Gutbuster packing two 6oz burgers with all the fillings.
Kevin, 55, said he hopes he has the recipe for success in bringing the Obelisk back as he prepares for the landmark year behind the bar.
He added: “I have held onto the original idea of turning it back into the community pub that it always was.”
The Obelisk Hotel
(023) 8044 4271
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