A popular pub that closed earlier this year has been given a new lease of life.

Aidan Lavin, the owner of the Dancing Man Brewery, is now at the helm of the former watering hole Smugglers.

Soon to be renamed Raven & Bine, the pub in Carlton Place will be welcoming punters in a matter of weeks.

Aidan and his business partner Mandy Lacey are excited to join such a bustling part of Southampton and expand their offering.

Daily Echo: Mandy Lacey and Aidan LavinMandy Lacey and Aidan Lavin (Image: Newsquest)

Aidan said: “In April of last year we opened a new brewery in a city industrial park, separate to our in-house brewery.

“We were struggling to keep up with demand because we were so busy. We did this with the view to open several other pubs in Southampton.

“I had a chance meeting with Kyle Wilks, who was the operator of Smugglers at the time.

“He told me he wanted to give it up and wanted the Dancing Man to take over.

“I have always liked the building and it has a garden, which makes it quite a hot property in the Bedford Place area.”

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But what can people expect from the new arrival?

According to Aidan, Raven & Bine first and foremost will be a bar, with small plates of food offered.

“It will be a traditional boozer”, he explained.

“There will be a new offering of beer, but the drinks will largely be the same as the Dancing Man Brewery.”

Being among other independent businesses was also a huge selling point for Aidan and the team.

He is keen to champion the importance of supporting independent.

Daily Echo: The new home of Raven & BineThe new home of Raven & Bine (Image: Newsquest)

Aidan said: “We are very excited to be opening in Carlton Place and we have met some of the other business owners and have been made to feel welcome from the get-go.

“There is a great community feel up there.

“I am excited to appeal to a new audience, and people have expressed their joy that we are opening there to save them the long walk from the other end of town.”

He added: “The main enjoyment I derive from being an independent business is keeping it so fiercely independent and that freedom to express ourselves in a different way.

“It’s important for the identity of cities.”

An official opening date for Raven & Bine will be revealed in due course.