IN less than a year it has grown into a mighty successful Hampshire pub.

Romsey’s Phoenix Bar and Eatery opened last September after a £210,000 refurbishment of the pub which was formerly the Tavern Inn.

Business partners Carol Rickman and Liz Surplice run the watering hole which is part of Star Pubs and Bars chain.

Carol and Liz were behind the reinstatement of pub’s original name and it’s had quite a few over the years. These include Romsey Ale House, Romsey Tavern and the Phoenix Hotel along with The Phoenix. The pub at the corner of Latimer Street and The Hundred has been licensed premises for some 180 years.

When Carol, who used to run Carol’s Carvery at the Malthouse Inn at Timsbury, and Liz took over the Phoenix last autumn, they promised to give it the “wow” factor and they have certainly done that.

It’s been fitted out to meet modern day needs with ample room for disabled customers to get around and children are welcome if accompanied by their parents.

The Phoenix pulls in punters from across Romsey and beyond and it has a wide range of meals and drinks on offer to tempt customers through its doors.

And for those who love tucking into a traditional English Sunday roast this pub is the place for you with four choices of meat – lamb, pork, beef and chicken and plenty of veggies and roast potatoes.

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Inside the pub – which has been fitted out in a contemporary-style – it is very welcoming and it has a large dining room where customers can sit, relax and socialise with friends and family.

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Throughout the week there is a wide selection of food on offer at the Phoenix from 9am onwards and on Sundays after 10am. This includes breakfast, sandwiches, homemade pub lunches, and bistro selections.

Liz, who is a former estate agent sales negotiator and worked part time at Carol’s previous pub before they went into partnership at the Phoenix, said: “We serve food all day starting with breakfast to a varied menu offering homemade favourites with some dishes available in two sizes which is extremely popular with those who just want a light bite to eat and three sizes of roast on a Sunday, so we have something to suit everybody’s appetite.”

There is also a garden/function room which accommodates up to 30 people and it can be hired out for private functions and a barista coffee bar with seating, and on Thursday evenings’ a resident pianist provides some musical entertainment for customers on the pub’s baby grand piano.

And in the pub garden you could be forgiven for thinking you are at the seaside, because there are two beach huts and deckchairs.

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The garden also has an all weather artificial grass surface and a patio.

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A free wi-fi service is also offered to customers who want to keep in touch when they drop into the pub for a meal or drink.