A NEW micropub and coffee house has opened in Portswood.

The Crafty Fox, on Broadway, now offers locals an eclectic mix of real ales and craft beer as well as coffees, wines and other treats.

It is housed at the former Costa Coffee premises on the road, which was taken over by Colin O’Keefe and his business partner Neil Davis, the brainchild of the Crafty Fox.

The business now employs 14 full-time and part-time staff members and can cater for up to 100 customers, as well as dogs.

The pair have invested heavily in the old bank site.

During the makeover, builders broke three drills trying to break into the site's bank vault in order to transform it into a kitchen.

It was designed by Rolls and Lionel, who said the concept of the business was unique as it was attempting to marry craft beer and ale with a coffee shop.

The developers added: "We have stayed away from the ultra -modern look and instead provided a more industrial feel.

"We hunted and gathered furniture and items we sourced have been re-customised and re-upholstered where necessary."

The plan went in front of Southampton City Council's planning committee in May, with councillors electing to grant permission for the new microbrewery.

Some locals objected to the plans, citing increased noise and overdevelopment of the area.

Dr Richard Buckle, of Highfield, noted that the brewery would lead to a “marked increase in noise and rowdiness” which would “affect local residents”.

He added: “There are already over 25 licenced premises including two pubs within and two immediately outside Portswood District Centre, making it the highest concentration of licenced premises outside the city centre.

“There is no need for an additional drinking venue.”

It opens from 8 a.m. everyday for coffee and pastries and a new serving hatch opens onto the main street for those wishing to use the takeaway service.

Colin, who is from London and Salisbury, was previously involved in a Vodka bar in Salisbury and another in Winchester but now is heavily involved in the coffee side of the business.

Neil, who is from West End in Southampton is very involved in the craft ale side of things.

The business partners are also looking for investment capital to expand their unique concept to other areas.


t: 02380 424 534

e: clive.hammond@dailyecho.co.uk