Meon Valley pub which closed in April to reopen with new owners

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The Roebuck near Wickham
The new team: Shekhar and Alexandra Nailwal and Pardeep Sandhu Inset: The Roebuck before its recent refurbishment

A Meon Valley pub which closed in April is to reopen next month with new owners.

The Roebuck, on the A32 between Wickham and Droxford, has been bought by a team with an established track record of success in the area.

Alexandra and Shekhar Nailwal, who used to run The White Horse Inn in Droxford, have joined forces with Pardeep Sandhu who runs Meringtons store and petrol station in Droxford.

The pub has been completely refurbished inside and the outside area and car park have been upgraded.

Alex said: “It’s a very exciting time and we’re looking forward to welcoming back old friends and meeting new ones when we open our doors in July.

“We’re planning to bring an award-winning Indian gastro pub with a contemporary touch to the Meon Valley. We will be doing Indian high teas, Sunday roasts and bed and breakfast all with a modern Indian twist.

“We also have a lovely beer garden so we’re also planning to do barbecue parties and have live music – it’s great to have lots of space inside and outside of the pub, so perfect whatever the weather.”

Shekhar added: “We have a great team working with us, headed by Head Chef Darwan Ram and Tandoori Chef Harisha Shetty, and we’re planning a very exciting menu, which we think will be very popular, and we’ll be doing takeaways too.

“The pub is in a great location – it’s right on the A32 so easy to get to by car – and very close to the Meon Valley Trail old railway line which means people can also easily walk or cycle to us.”

Alex and Shekhar, who have two sons at local schools, ran The White Horse in Droxford for eight years until September 2023 and built up a good reputation for their mainly Indian cuisine.

They were forced to close following massive leaps in energy prices and the rising food inflation. They tried to negotiate a lower rent with the owners Admiral Taverns but to no avail. The pub is still empty and remains up for sale.

Until recently the couple ran Krishna’s Indian restaurant in Gosport. “We live in the Meon Valley so it’s great to be coming back to run a pub and restaurant here again,” said Alex.

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