BRIGHT and modern – that’s the first impression you get when stepping inside the Junction Inn.

And they are terms that have become buzzwords among the regular punters, not to mention landlady Dawn Gentry and her husband, Martin.

Light wood floors and shelving behind the bar, brightly coloured walls and new furniture have all helped create that atmosphere.

It is hard to imagine that just seven months ago, this building was battling through its darkest hour.

After being devastated by fire back in February, Dawn reveals that “grown men were reduced to tears” at the loss of their wateringhole, which was at the heart of the St Denys and Portswood communities.

But now, the Junction Inn is back – and there is almost a sense that the blaze has been a blessing in disguise, allowing Dawn and Martin to rid the pub of the dark and gloomy wood that previously decked the floors and walls, to give it a new lease of life.

Yet, despite the changes, the couple have managed to maintain the same character and ambeance that had made it so popular – a popularity underlined by their stacked programme of weekly events.

The pub hosts men’s darts and mixed crib competitions on Monday nights, mixed darts on Wednesday, with ladies stepping up to the oche on Thursdays.

There’s also live music on the first Saturday of every month, karaoke on the last Saturday of the month, and the regular quiz night every Friday.

If that’s not enough to tempt you inside, the Junction Inn serves up a mouth-watering food menu seven days a week, containing baguettes and paninis from £4.95, with pub favourites including fish and chips, chilli con carne and steak and kidney pudding available from £6.75.

Throw into the mix a great selection of beers and wines, with lagers starting from £3.50 and glasses of wine on offer for as little as £2.70, and there really is something to brighten up everyone’s day.