"IT'S a bit like the Cheers bar, everyone knows your name."

That's how one Southampton landlord describes his pretty local pub, tucked away on a residential corner just minutes from Shirley High Street.

Andy Madsen met his wife Ceri at The Park Inn, on Carlisle Road. They've now been happily married for 18 years and run the pub together.

He told the Daily Echo: "It's a proper back street community local pub. It's a bit like the Cheers bar, everyone knows your name.

"We all look after each other, it feels like a big family."

The Park Inn, which is known for its stunning hanging baskets supplied by Blooming Lovely, is a wet let pub with real ales the biggest sellers. 6X, IPA, Swordfish and a number of weekly guest beers are always available.

The pub can be dated back to 1901, but it is believed to have been a drinking establishment as early as 1864. It was originally a small pub with an outside toilet where bottles and jugs were served through a side door. The house next door was added to make a small but comfortable local, once owned by Strong of Romsey and later bought by Wadworths Brewery in Devizes.

In normal times, quizzes are held each Wednesday and Sunday evening with a meat draw on Sunday lunchtimes. Previous Christmas meat draws have been huge, lasted hours and attracted a massive crowd.

The pub has not been open much since the first lockdown, although the sun-drenched walled seating area has been popular and briefly boasted a marquee in the winter.

Andy, who ran the pub from 1999 to 2003 before returning in 2016, added: "We managed to get through on take out sales and Government grants. The main thing is we're still here, although we're still down a bit as some people are still nervous and we think it will take six months to a year to recover.

"We're very glad to have our friends back in the pub and we've tried to make it as normal as possible while following the rules. It’s a difficult time which has sucked a lot of the fun out of the hospitality trade. It'll come back though!"

  • Pictures by Trevor Gardiner Photography
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