A PUBLICAN is expanding his brand with a popular pub in Hursley.

Jonathan Spencer, who recently took over The Rising Sun in Colden Common, has added The Dolphin Inn to his list.

Mr Spencer, 33, already runs five pubs in the Midlands but is starting to expand his business in Hampshire after moving to Colden Common with his family within the last couple of years.

As a popular pub among the locals, receiving rave reviews on Trip Advisor, the new owner only wants to improve what the pub, in Main Road, already offers.

Mr Spencer is keeping the same team that worked under previous owner Chris Schutrups but is brightening up the interior and exterior with some fresh paint and new furniture as well as a new menu on Thursday, January 11.

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Hampshire Chronicle: Jonny and his family outside The Rising SunJonny and his family outside The Rising Sun (Image: Jonathan Spencer)

The team is planning a grand re-opening after a few weeks of refurbishment on Thursday, February 15.

Mr Spencer said: “The pub was well thought of anyway, it’s a very different transition to taking over The Rising Sun which needed more time and effort. This pub has already got a great reputation so I don’t want to ruin it.

“We’re going to take something pretty good and make it even better. It’s been a really amicable transition with the previous owners simply wanting to focus on their other businesses.

“We looked at The Dolphin a year ago but it wasn’t available and when it was it was an instant yes and we did the deal in about four weeks.

“We’re bringing in some of our signature dishes such as ‘Bang Bang Cauliflower’, gluten free options, new steak cuts. We’re taking the pub classics and not feeling the need to deconstruct them but simply make them the best version of that dish they can be.

“I’m excited about the team, they’re the kind of people I would look for if I was recruiting. Taking on a pub that’s already in a great position is amazing, we’re just going to add that sparkle.

“One thing that’s brilliant about this pub is that it looks like a pub. It has low ceilings and carpet and we don’t want to ruin that so we are going to be sensitive with how we approach the refit. The building is Grade II listed and has a lot of character.”

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The new menu will be 85 per cent gluten free and use local produce. For more information go to dolphinhursley.co.uk/.

Previous owners Chris and Nicola Schutrups founded the Henderson Pub Co, which runs and The Hunters Inn, in Romsey, The Cricketers Inn in Alresford and The Olive Tree and Figurati in Southampton. The Dolphin Inn was the second pub in their collection, with the couple taking over in May 2022.

New owner Jonny is still on the hunt for his next venues, with his sights set on a restaurant in Winchester city centre.