NEW managers of a once troubled pub have said they are turning it around and bringing the community back through its doors.

The Roebuck Inn has had its fair share of landlords over the years, with it intermittently opening and closing between management or for refurbishment. But Jo and Andrew Hoggart have said it’s all changing at the Winchester hostelry.

Since they took over in January the couple have added homely touches, started a darts team and quiz, changed the menu and spruced up the wine list.

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“It was previously known as the proper pie pub,” Mrs Hoggart, pictured above, said.

“We have changed it and gone back to traditional pub food. We listened to the customers and what they want. We have a lighter menu for £5.”

They have also introduced a guest wine of the week and the pub has a range of drinks both alcoholic and non which aren’t bank-breaking – a 125ml glass of house white costs just £2.70.

The Roebuck’s tenancy was taken over in September last year by Clive Mansell, who also runs The Plough in Itchen Abbas, The Queen Inn and The Bell Inn, both in St Cross, and The Fulflood Arms.

Mr and Mrs Hoggart prize their local roots. Mrs Hoggart, who was born and bred in Winchester and whose father used to drink at the pub, said: “The really important thing is the fact that I’m local. We say it’s a pub for locals, run by locals.

“It needed TLC and we have injected that. It’s been brilliant to come in and develop it. We have gained the loyalty of the locals again.”

Just outside of the city centre in Stockbridge Road, the Roebuck is a short walk from the train station and has a mixture of commuters and families stopping by.

Despite the worn exterior, which is going to be revamped before the summer, it feels warm, inviting and cosy with modern colourful furnishings bringing it up-to-date.

The couple say they are enjoying getting to know people, and are planning an 80s-themed silent disco for June.

“It’s full-on commitment,” Mrs Hoggart said.

“It’s incredibly hard work but I love it. I liken it to having a dinner party in your own home every single day. That’s what I do - I come down, clean, tidy and make sure the food is good. I want people to be entertained and enjoy themselves.”

So what sets the new managers apart from their predecessors?

“Along with our head chef we are incredibly passionate about making it work. That and recognising what it needs.”

To find out more go online at or call 01962 827755.

The Roebuck Inn.

57 Stockbridge Road, Winchester, Hampshire.

SO22 6RP.

Tel: 01962 827755