Wessex Scene can reveal that The Hobbit Pub, a staple of Southampton nightlife and temple for Lord of The Rings fans is set to undergo several ‘updates’ after being bought out by Shooting Star owner Jack Andrews.
Wessex Scene previously reported how the current owner alleged that the popular student haunt is set to close as ‘we know it’ on 2nd September. However, the new owner has now claimed that ‘Although we may have to delay the opening time by a couple of hours or so, there should be no reason why the doors can’t open on the 2nd of September’.
A source originally contacted The Hobbit to book a society event for Freshers, and unexpectedly received an email from the pub’s current management, who told them that ‘we are no longer taking bookings as unfortunately The Hobbit Pub as you know it is closing on 2nd September’.
The email suggested that overheads and costs are now too high for the small independent business as Stella Roberts, who has owned the pub since 2009, explained in the email that ‘we are simply unable to cope with our very high overheads anymore. What the new owners decide to do [with The Hobbit]we do not know’.
This news comes after years of financial uncertainty for The Hobbit, with its closure seeming likely in 2017 before it was saved by a crowdfunding campaign.
However, in a statement bound to reassure many, the incoming owner of The Hobbit has told Wessex Scene that whilst he has big plans in store, the theme and spirit of the pub that students have come to love will remain. He said that:
Although we have many great plans for the Hobbit, there is one thing that will stay the same throughout our ownership – the theme. We have been drinking there for over 10 years and just want to give it the chance to live up to its potential. We will be putting in a lot of investment so that we can improve on the areas that haven’t had as much attention as they could have. All the staff will be staying on and will hopefully all be there for a large open discussion for what upgrades we plan on making. Although we may have to delay the opening time by a couple of hours or so, there should be no reason why the doors can’t open on the 2nd of September. If anyone does have any questions, I will be there until we close on the Monday. I’m happy to answer any questions people may have.
Wessex Scene reached out to current owner Stella Roberts for comment. To see her response, click here.