IT WAS once one of the busiest pubs in Winchester but fell on hard times.
But now Alex Bell and Nicola Ramshaw are keen to put the Rising Sun back on the Winchester map.
They reopened the pub in Bridge Street in the summer after it had been closed for four years and Alex said business had started well.
He said: “Business has been good and I’m pleased to say we have got a lot of the old regulars back while getting in new regulars too. We are still focusing on real ale and our main problem is getting the old regulars out of the pub at the end of the night!
“But the biggest thing for me is that we are welcoming. You will always find Nic or me behind the bar unless it is one of our very, very rare nights off. We only have two other bar staff and I’m not looking for more because I think you should find the landlord and landlady at the pub.”
Alex is aware of the pub’s history and said he was happy to take on the task of restoring the pub to its former glory.
He said: “I think it is a challenge and in this current climate it’s not going to go back to how it was ten years ago overnight. It’s going to take time but we do not ever have a dead day and we are getting more regular customers all the time.”
The pub started a weekly quiz night last week with a cash prize while they also host monthly live music or DJ nights.
It also has two darts teams and two pool teams who play in league matches, and two football teams including a veteran side.
Alex added: “We show a lot of live sport here because I am a big sports fan, and it’s very popular with the customers. We have the pool table too because I think a pub should have one.”
A typical pint costs £2.50 at the pub including its very own ale, ‘Nic and Al’s best’.
The Rising Sun, 14 Bridge Street, Winchester, SO23 0HL