A POPULAR loved pub has suddenly closed its doors.

The South Western Arms, in Adelaide Road, next to St Denys station, shocked locals after it unexpectedly shut last week.

The pub, owned by Ei Publican Partnerships, had offered an array of food, drink and live entertainment.

Ei confirmed to locals that the pub was currently closed due to the publican’s decision to cease trading, due to personal reasons.

It added anyone interested in taking on the pub should contact it.

On the pub’s large outside chalkboard the message “closed until further notice” is written.

The Echo has attempted to contact the publican but has been unable to speak to them.

Ei believe that the pub has an anticipated turnover of around £491,000.

Five-years-ago, the pub was crowned Daily Echo Best Local winner, beating The Victory in Hamble, The Rockstone in Southampton, the Prince Consort at Netley and The Saints at Southampton to the title.

It was also voted pub of the year by South Hampshire Camra (Campaign for Real Ale) members in 2002, 2003 and 2006.

Portswood ward councillor, John Savage told the Echo he was “shocked” to hear that the pub had closed its doors.

He said: “It’s a real surprise to me because when I was last in there in January it seemed to be thriving and there was no indication that there was anything untoward.

“I often speak to the landlords of pubs and they explain that money can be tight and that it is difficult for pubs to continue to keep going but I am very shocked.

“We care so much about these pubs and perhaps a community asset could be put in place to give the pub some form of protection for the next owners.”