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The Albion, Stockbridge Road, Winchester
ONE of Winchester’s cornerstone pubs is enjoying a fresh start.
The Albion has undergone a makeover since new owners Paul and Hester Soulsby took over in November, but there’s been no change to its business as it remains one of the city’s busiest boozers.
Sitting on the corner of Andover Road and Stockbridge Road it is a uniquely shaped pub sitting in a prime location in the city centre, just down the road from the railway station, meaning it’s frequented by both city slickers and commuters.
Although it is the couple’s first pub, the pair have settled in quickly to the job, according to Hester.
She said: “We have been really happy with the first month, things have been going really well for us and we always seem to be busy. We refurbished the place but we tried to keep some of the original features to keep the place’s charm but we wanted to neaten it up a bit and it seems to have worked.”
A potential problem for the pub is that it does not have a car park but Paul, 33, and Hester, 27 said it does not hinder the pub because most of the clientele are in walking distance.
Hester said: “It can be a problem for us living here and for unloading and deliveries, but it’s not a problem for footfall. We aren’t worried about the problems with pubs at the moment because we got the pub at quite a good price and we are covering costs and making money so once the climate picks up we should go from strength to strength.”
She added it was a dream of her husband, who is originally from Twyford, to open a pub in his home city and the next step will be to start serving tapas-style food in 2012, with a takeaway breakfast service to follow in the mornings for commuters.