A popular taco and beer bar is bringing fresh flavours to a former pub.

The Black Phoenix pub in Bedford Place has been transformed into Overdraft – a venue specialising in street food and craft beer.

Owner Mikha Rai is excited to bring a new taste to the area with his third venue.

The 33-year-old said: “The landlord of the building contacted me because he was looking for someone who could bring something different.

“He also wanted someone who had a solid business model and would be successful.

“I viewed it as quite a big risk but I have always wanted to open in central Southampton, and this site was a great opportunity for me to do that.

“It’s a casual dining atmosphere which is suited to the city.”

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Mikha is excited to open Overdraft in Bedford Place, which he describes as an ‘up and coming’ area of the city.

He is also optimistic about bringing his popular Mexican street food to the city centre.


Mikha said: “Overdraft is a bit different in terms of smaller businesses, and we have a wide offering, from beer and food to live music as well.

“As I’m from Southampton I’ve always wanted to improve the area and having a central location, and I’m sure it will work.

“This is our third site, we originated in Shirley which is a community pub, and we have a location in Winchester which does really well.”

After announcing the big move to Bedford Place, Mikha and his team were inundated with positive messages.

He said: “The response has been really good.

“We posted a video of us renovating the Black Phoenix site and it’s the most engagement we have had on a post.

“People are really happy that we are in the city centre. It has been amazing.”

He added: “We are really happy with the refurbishment too and how well it has gone.”

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Mikha and his team have been working tirelessly on the renovations for nearly four weeks.

Now, they are ready to officially open their doors on Saturday.

He said: “We have been grafting by painting, stripping back the walls, and more.

“And so far, nothing has gone wrong.”

Overdraft opens on 12pm on Saturday and is open from midday until 1am daily.