A NEW dawn beckons at a Basingstoke pub which closed in February following a wrangle between the landlord and its owners.

The former Way Inn, in Chapel Hill, has now reopened under its original name The Rising Sun, and incoming publican Chris Wood is looking forward to welcoming customers following a major refurbishment.

He has taken over the tavern having agreed terms with Enterprise Inns, which owns the pub.

As reported in The Gazette, former landlord Peter Bradley, criticised Enterprise Inns after losing £100,000 of his own money which he used to spruce up the pub when he started in July 2006.

He claimed the cost of beer he was forced to buy from Enterprise Inns as part of the contract, and the £1,000 weekly rent, had put him out of business.

He was given notice to leave by Enterprise Inns after failing to pay the rent.

Seven members of staff, four of whom worked full-time, lost their jobs as a result of the closure in February.

Enterprise Inns said at the time it had “exercised considerable patience and fairness in our attempt to resolve our differences with Mr Bradley.”

Chris is optimistic about his future as the new landlord, particularly after Enterprise Inns invested around £60,000 to redecorate and re-fit the pub with a new-look bar, small snug, dining area and garden with terrace.

And Chris has ambitious plans to restore The Rising Sun to its former glory by introducing a range of traditional cask ales, alongside wholesome and healthy pub food and live music events at weekends.

With over 20 years’ experience in the licensed trade, including 10 years managing pubs and clubs in the Basingstoke area, Chris is confident The Rising Sun will be a popular destination.

He said: “Here at The Rising Sun, we are conveniently located close to the railway station, on the way into town, so we can cater for commuters, as well as local people and businesses who want to enjoy the atmosphere of a traditional tavern alongside a quality offering of food and drink.

“As well as serving up a healthy range of freshly prepared sandwiches, baguettes and salads at lunch-times, we will also be introducing sharing platters for early evening diners.

“We want to become known for our live music, so at weekends we will be showcasing various local bands in the bar area.”

Andrew Gardner, regional manager for Enterprise Inns, said: “There aren’t many pubs like The Rising Sun left in Basingstoke, but by investing in the facilities and supporting Chris’ own plans for growing the business, we are confident it will prove a popular