New owner of Port City Cafe to keep traditions

By Wayne Allen

January 18, 2014

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

Francesca Hartop recently purchased the Port City Cafe and Pub, located at 424 Chillicothe St., in Portsmouth, from Barb and John Hogan. Hartop said she intends to keep the traditions that has been established at the pub, as well a making some improvements.

“Barb and John (Hogan) did a wonderful job turning that (Port City Cafe and Pub) into the place it is now. It’s a place that I’ve always gone to for business meetings or just to hang out in the evenings, so it’s always been one of my favorite places to go,” Hartop said. “I had heard for a while they (Barb and John Hogan) were going to sell it, and had not really thought much about it, and then heard there were concerns they were not going to find a buyer.”

Hartop said about that time she inquired what the situation was, and the next thing you know she decided to buy it.

“My motivation was to protect it mostly, because it’s such a great thing,” Hartop said. “There is not going to be any dramatic changes, there are some things menu wise and some things space wise we would like to improve upon. There is also some equipment that needs to be improved and updated, because no matter what you do a few years later things change.”

Hartop said said the atmosphere and environment of Port City Cafe and Pub is not expected to change.

“I’ve been slowly working through the list of people that use the pub for meeting space, I’ve been meeting with them to make sure they get moved over to the new calendars and that we have what they need,” Hartop said.

She said since the word had gotten out about her taking over as owner the response has been positive.

According to theportcitycafeandpub.com, “Port City is not a bar, tavern or restaurant – it’s a pub! A true pub emphasizes conversation and relationships. It’s a place where people gather to enjoy each others company in a sociable, sheltered and comfortable environment. To paraphrase a famous Irish poet, ‘a pub is a special place full of your very best friends, some of whom you just haven’t met yet.”

Hartop is co-founder and CEO of YEI Corporation, which includes YEI Technology and YEI Healthcare, serving clients from across the United States and internationally. She is also owner of Garage Café and Port City Café and Pub in the downtown Portsmouth area. Hartop was also recently appointed to the Shawnee State University Board of Trustees.

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT