An historic community pub in Bristol, which dates back more than 250 years, is set to officially reopen on 29th November following a £185,000 investment from market-leading community pub operator, Hawthorn Leisure.

The Portcullis in Staple Hill had fallen on hard times, and was being managed on a temporary basis over the last year. But now, thanks to Hawthorn Leisure’s significant investment, the pub has been given a new lease of life and is set to reopen for good with experienced operator, Debra Tipper, in charge. Debra is a popular figure in the local pub scene, with 20 years’ experience managing pubs in and around Bristol, including The Swan in Winterbourne and the Cross Keys in Hanham.

The venue, which is well-known in the community for live music, has been completely redecorated inside and out, with new signage, lighting, furniture, and brand-new toilet facilities, and in a nod to the pub’s long history, the original front door has been re-instated.

The Portcullis also features a fully refurbished skittle alley, and will offer a comprehensive range of cask ales, beers, ciders and spirits, and show live sports and horse racing via Sky Sports, BT Sport, Racing UK and At the Races.

Commenting on the launch, Debra said: “I can’t wait to see what the locals think of the new and improved Portcullis. It’s almost unrecognisable inside, but we’ve also made sure to retain some of the original features, including the front door. We’re looking forward to welcoming new and old customers to the official reopening – there will be a buffet, and we’ll be staying true to the pub’s tradition for live music with some great musicians as well.”

Hawthorn Leisure operates more than 650 community pubs across England, Scotland and Wales, and the company’s managing director of operations, Mark McGinty, says The Portcullis is exactly the kind of pub they want to see thriving:

“This is a classic, community pub with a loyal regular clientele which has been a huge part of the community in Staple Hill for centuries. We were more than happy to invest in The Portcullis to make sure it can continue to be an important community hub, and with Debra’s experience, we’re sure the pub will be a huge hit with the locals.”

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