Bitterne Park Hotel to reopen this month as a family venue

Daily Echo: Couple step in to save historic pub Couple step in to save historic pub

A HISTORIC Hampshire pub which was shut and boarded up has been saved, the Daily Echo can reveal.

Traders and residents feared that the Bitterne Park Hotel would be closed for good after landlord Ian Houston called last orders at a farewell party last month.

But they can now breathe easy after another Southampton landlord stepped in to save the pub.

Kevin Guerrier, who is landlord of the Obelisk Pub in Woolston, will now take up the reins after thrashing out a deal with Enterprise Inns.

He said: “I have a big issue with pubs closing down and as soon as I heard the Bitterne Park Hotel ceased trading I called Enterprise to try and take it over.”

“I have been in there once before and found it quite dilapidated, but it was a lively pub and it will be again.”

“I want it to be a place where people can come and take their children and dogs to and we will also be focusing on providing good food.”

In 2011 Kevin stepped into save another historic city pub when he became landlord of the Obelisk.

When he saw in the Daily Echo that the Bitterne Park was up for sale he decided to take action.

He has appealed for people who worked at the pub recently to speak to him as there will now be three full-time positions available.

The pub will officially open for business on February 10 or 11 and will be refurbished this spring.

The news that the pub has been saved has been welcomed by the leader of Southampton City Council, Simon Letts, who is fighting to stop pubs in the city being converted into shops and takeaways.

He said: “I am delighted that it is saved and that a valuable pub in the city continues to trade. I think it has a lot of potential – hopefully Kevin will make a success of it.”

A statement from Enterprise Inns, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Kevin Guerrier as the new publican of the Bitterne Park Hotel.

“Kevin is an experienced and successful local pub operator and we are confident the site has a great future in his hands.”

Comments (18)

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3:20pm Sun 2 Feb 14

Andrew215 says...

No wonder it closed. It was a dark, depressing place. No way would I take my children there. I live within an 8 minute walk of the pub, but would rather walk to the Hop Inn which is further away. Considering the location and size of the Bitterne Park Hotel it would make an ideal family pub.
No wonder it closed. It was a dark, depressing place. No way would I take my children there. I live within an 8 minute walk of the pub, but would rather walk to the Hop Inn which is further away. Considering the location and size of the Bitterne Park Hotel it would make an ideal family pub. Andrew215
  • Score: 23

4:29pm Sun 2 Feb 14

issacchunt says...

The new landlord intends refitting the place, could be good as its not far from riverside park. Families will eat there if priced right but the refit must happen and local regulars need to welcome and encourage new customers to keep the pub afloat.

Dark, dingey and unfriendly in recent years but really could be very good.
The new landlord intends refitting the place, could be good as its not far from riverside park. Families will eat there if priced right but the refit must happen and local regulars need to welcome and encourage new customers to keep the pub afloat. Dark, dingey and unfriendly in recent years but really could be very good. issacchunt
  • Score: 14

5:21pm Sun 2 Feb 14

Soulrebel One says...

Shame he couldn't have saved the Stoneham Arms in Bassett Green, bought by the co-operative group, had real potential.
Shame he couldn't have saved the Stoneham Arms in Bassett Green, bought by the co-operative group, had real potential. Soulrebel One
  • Score: 8

5:45pm Sun 2 Feb 14

Reality-man says...

Sh1thole
Sh1thole Reality-man
  • Score: -3

5:58pm Sun 2 Feb 14

Saint fans says...

Good luck to Kevin, let's hope it is a success. Will be good to see the BP open again.
Good luck to Kevin, let's hope it is a success. Will be good to see the BP open again. Saint fans
  • Score: 15

6:26pm Sun 2 Feb 14

sophisticated says...

long as it is not a crown carvery we can all sleep well
long as it is not a crown carvery we can all sleep well sophisticated
  • Score: -6

6:46pm Sun 2 Feb 14

SOULJACKER says...

It's a super pub with a good & substantial catchment area.
I went in there 20 something years ago before my wedding in the church up the road.
We used to get up to all sorts up there back in the 80's (I ain't even gonna go into that) but I hope they do well & keep supporting live & local music.
It's a super pub with a good & substantial catchment area. I went in there 20 something years ago before my wedding in the church up the road. We used to get up to all sorts up there back in the 80's (I ain't even gonna go into that) but I hope they do well & keep supporting live & local music. SOULJACKER
  • Score: 6

7:18pm Sun 2 Feb 14

apm1954 says...

best wishes to you my first thought was fools and my second thought was even bigger fools, at your peril trust enterprise - ex licencee . once they came on the scene after taking over from whitbread things just went down the pan, best wishes from a skint ex licencee .
best wishes to you my first thought was fools and my second thought was even bigger fools, at your peril trust enterprise - ex licencee . once they came on the scene after taking over from whitbread things just went down the pan, best wishes from a skint ex licencee . apm1954
  • Score: 7

7:25pm Sun 2 Feb 14

SOULJACKER says...

It went down hill after someone got rid of 'Interceptors' off the wall ;)
It went down hill after someone got rid of 'Interceptors' off the wall ;) SOULJACKER
  • Score: 1

7:31pm Sun 2 Feb 14

SFC-Matt says...

Great news. Good Luck
Great news. Good Luck SFC-Matt
  • Score: 7

7:36pm Sun 2 Feb 14

WILLIAM HAGUES TWIN BROTHER. says...

get rid of the smokey joes and it could work.
get rid of the smokey joes and it could work. WILLIAM HAGUES TWIN BROTHER.
  • Score: 7

7:56am Mon 3 Feb 14

bigfella777 says...

There's no pleasing some people. They moan if pub shuts down and then condemn one that gets saved.
There's no pleasing some people. They moan if pub shuts down and then condemn one that gets saved. bigfella777
  • Score: 2

9:36am Mon 3 Feb 14

Ford Prefect says...

I live a very short distance from this pub but have only ventured in a couple of times. I found it dirty, depressing and unfriendly. None of my friends would even consider going there. I wish the new landlords luck and hope they make a go of it. This end of Bitterne Park is crying out for a decent pub. The Hop Inn is lovely but too far to walk for a swift couple of pints. Make it good and you'll be turning away punters for lack of room.
I live a very short distance from this pub but have only ventured in a couple of times. I found it dirty, depressing and unfriendly. None of my friends would even consider going there. I wish the new landlords luck and hope they make a go of it. This end of Bitterne Park is crying out for a decent pub. The Hop Inn is lovely but too far to walk for a swift couple of pints. Make it good and you'll be turning away punters for lack of room. Ford Prefect
  • Score: 5

10:26am Mon 3 Feb 14

Might SS says...

Good news - but you will have to change the reputation it has - I really hope you can do this as it'll be great to have a local on our doorstep that is worth going to.
Good news - but you will have to change the reputation it has - I really hope you can do this as it'll be great to have a local on our doorstep that is worth going to. Might SS
  • Score: 1

12:55pm Mon 3 Feb 14

garethsmith72 says...

Ford Prefect wrote:
I live a very short distance from this pub but have only ventured in a couple of times. I found it dirty, depressing and unfriendly. None of my friends would even consider going there. I wish the new landlords luck and hope they make a go of it. This end of Bitterne Park is crying out for a decent pub. The Hop Inn is lovely but too far to walk for a swift couple of pints. Make it good and you'll be turning away punters for lack of room.
You not aware then of the micro pub opening under your very noise on the triangle ... The Butchers Hook.. google if for more info.
[quote][p][bold]Ford Prefect[/bold] wrote: I live a very short distance from this pub but have only ventured in a couple of times. I found it dirty, depressing and unfriendly. None of my friends would even consider going there. I wish the new landlords luck and hope they make a go of it. This end of Bitterne Park is crying out for a decent pub. The Hop Inn is lovely but too far to walk for a swift couple of pints. Make it good and you'll be turning away punters for lack of room.[/p][/quote]You not aware then of the micro pub opening under your very noise on the triangle ... The Butchers Hook.. google if for more info. garethsmith72
  • Score: 2

7:39am Tue 4 Feb 14

Helmeto says...

Good luck to him, great to see someone taking on a pub in these tough times!
Good luck to him, great to see someone taking on a pub in these tough times! Helmeto
  • Score: 2

1:23pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Bob Barnes says...

I used to use tis pub for a while agree it was dingy & needed sorted, good luck Kevin hope you can turn it around
I used to use tis pub for a while agree it was dingy & needed sorted, good luck Kevin hope you can turn it around Bob Barnes
  • Score: 1

6:46pm Wed 26 Feb 14

AngryAleMan says...

I reckon 50k a year rent, plus beer prices you'd have to charge about £4.60 for a pint of Fosters.

Enterprise will doom another one, like the Avenue, and all the other ones you hear about being "saved."

Where are they now?
I reckon 50k a year rent, plus beer prices you'd have to charge about £4.60 for a pint of Fosters. Enterprise will doom another one, like the Avenue, and all the other ones you hear about being "saved." Where are they now? AngryAleMan
  • Score: 0

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