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New restaurant and bar pleases local residents
9:45pm Monday 11th October 2010 in Community
Local residents steered clear of the area for over a decade but now the opening of a stylish new restaurant and bar on Portland Road looks set to change that.
The Stoneham, which replaces The Portland Rock Bar or The Portland as it was locally known, officially opened for food on Thursday night.
It offers a welcome and much needed change from the previous pub which, according to local residents, attracted an alternative clientele.
Andrew from Hove said: “The Portland was rough. I’ve been here for 14 years and I went in there once. I’m with my wife and children tonight and we really hope it works”.
Angela Savage who wouldn’t have considered entering The Portland and called it dingy with a bad atmosphere said: “You can bring children here and it’s altogether more family friendly”.
The Stoneham’s décor - wooden floors, large monochrome clocks and modern lampshades that hang from the ceiling - is very similar to that of The Connaught and The Dyke Tavern.
All three pubs are owned by Martin Webb, a multi-millionaire entrepreneur who fronted Channel 4’s, Risking It All, programme about starting new businesses.
Webb made £15 million after selling C-Side, the leisure company he co-founded with Simon Kirby.
Now, The Stoneham is creating a stir with locals and non-locals. One punter travelled from central Brighton to see what the fuss was about.
Sam Newton who has friends in Hove, said:” It’s a really great place to have on your doorstep, except it’s not on my doorstep, but I’d come again”.
However, Michael Kent was less impressed and commented that it was opening weekend and the buzz was to be expected.
Only time will tell though, for right now, most of the locals seem rather pleased with their new pub.