New gastropub, London Fields, to open next month


Bonnie Shearston and Tom Sanceau, the team behind Brisbane venues Public, Red Hook, and Coppa Spuntino are branching out into Brisbane’s West End with the opening of their first pub, London Fields.

“It’s a gastropub,” said Shearston of the new venue, on the corner of Montague Road and Raven Street.

“Where it’s located, there’s nothing else around it at the moment. It’s a huge area that’s going to be developed, so it’s going to be 15,000 people moving into the area over the next 18 months.”

The focus will be on providing a pub for the neighbourhood pub and bistro, with a food emphasis that draws on the traditions of the English gastropub.


“It’s very neighbourhood and local,” said Shearston, “and there’s not a huge amount of other businesses around so it’s needs to be all-day family friendly, but at the same time appealing to the young disposable incomes that will be moving into the developments nearby.”

With both Shearston and Sanceau hailing from England, you can expect the pub to take its cues from the Old Blighty. “There’s a real focus on bringing that [English] element of the gastropub to the pub scene in Brisbane, because we want to move away from the hotel label that everyone has at the moment,” said Shearston.

“What’s going to step it up is the restaurant part of it, there’s going to be a real focus on good food in the bistro area.”

To that end they’ve brought on Con Tsangaris, formerly the sous chef of Gerard’s Bistro in Brisbane, to lead the kitchen.

“[The style of food is] nose to tail — using things likes pigs’ ears, pigs’ tails and old school stuff people don’t really do anymore. What we want to do is basically no-bullshit cooking,” he said.

“The idea for the bar food is to have just rich, meaty, salty and delicious food like bone marrow on toast, sardines — that style of delicious food that you want to eat with a good hearty beer or glass wine or a cocktail.”

With six beers on tap, there’ll be a couple of old mainstream favourites alongside craft options, and in the fridges they’ll be stocking some more esoteric and boutique examples.

“We’ve signed up with some more localised craft breweries, so there’ll be high rotation of the taps and they’re quite happy for us to change things seasonally,” she said.

“We’ll get a little more experimental and boutique in the packaged beers.”

They’ll have a short, rotating wine list that will focus on boutique offerings, courtesy of their sommelier Alan Hunter who was named 2013 QLD Good Food Guide sommelier of the year, and is the Courier Mail weekend wine columnist.

The name, fittingly for a gastropub, is drawn from England. “London Fields was the area in London where they used to bring the cattle in for market, where they used to do all the livestock auctions,” said Shearston.

Shearston said that the bistro and ground floor pub will form the first of three stages of development on the site, and is due to open on the 24th of July.

“Underneath the building there’s a peaceful sandstone cellar, and it’s massive, so stage is two is going two be a bottleshop,” she said, and it will be Hunter that runs it. “A really boutique bottleshop there, nothing too mainstream.” They’re hoping this will be open in October this year.

Stage three, however, Shearston isn’t discussing at this point.

“Stage three is a basement bar out the back of there which I will keep my card close to my chest on that one,” she said, though if things go to plan the bar will be unveiled in time for summer.

London Fields will be open lunch and dinner seven days a week, with breakfast available on the weekends.

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