THE tale of a historic Hampshire pub which suddenly closed has taken another twist – it will reopen this week.
The Bitterne Park Hotel closed in January when landlord Ian Houston called last orders and threw a party to mark his departure.
Last month the Daily Echo revealed how another city landlord, Kevin Guerrier, had stepped in to take on the Enterprise Inns site – but pulled out again within days.
But now it seems the future of the Cobden Avenue pub is secure – at least for now – with news of a new landlady at the helm who is planning to open for business on Friday.
Sharlene Warner used to run The Castle pub in Midanbury which closed in 2012.
The 34-year-old said she has been looking to take on a new pub, adding: “I am very excited to be running the Bitterne Park Hotel, it is a dream come true for me.
“I am from Bitterne Park and it has got massive potential. I am looking to do food and turn it into a family pub. But the first thing is to get the pub up and running again.”
Sharlene will be taking on five staff – most of whom used to work with her at The Castle – and will reopen on Friday with live music from indie band The Hiwatts.
A spokesman for Enterprise Inns said: “We are pleased to confirm that the Bitterne Park Hotel is due to reopen very soon under an interim management while we continue to interview the various candidates with a long-term vision for the pub.”