The gastropub appears to have most totally captivated the public’s attention of all the recent restaurant styles that have prospered, permeating almost every aspect of American dining. Eater asked Restaurant Editor Bill Addison for a working description of the modern gastropub, and he put it best: “I define a gastropub as a casual business, frequently loud, with a near-equal emphasis on great dining and drinking.”
While adding delicious cuisine to pubs may seem obvious, the gastropub hasn’t always been a staple of the dining scene. So how did they get so well-known? Will that acclaim continue?
Here is all the information you need about gastropubs, from the original London gastropub, the Eagle, to the American franchise Blackfinn Ameripub.
The historical pub tradition in England is responsible for the gastropub we know today. The modern pub sprang from the numerous beerhouses, taverns, and inns selling drinks to thirsty patrons for generations. There are about 7,000 pubs in and around London today, according to the long and rich history of English pub culture.
Pubs are sometimes associated with particular brewers and are recognized more for beer selections than cocktail menus. Plowman’s lunch, pork pies, fish and chips, and more modest appetizers like pickled eggs are regular menu items.
Introduction of the gastropub
Michael Belben and David Eyre, two restaurateurs, took up the lease of The Eagle, a pub in London, in 1991. According to their website, Belben and Eyre expanded the kitchen’s capabilities and “added a reasonable assortment of wine and a few rums to the draught beer and lager that was previously on offer.” The menu is constantly changing and is scribbled on a chalkboard. It features chowders, grilled whole fish and meats, sandwiches, and prepared dishes that frequently have an Italian or Mediterranean influence. With their publication named The Eagle Cookbook: Recipes from the Original Gastropub, The Eagle, which is still in operation today, firmly upholds its claim to be the first gastropub.