Pub openings

Brakspear opens first managed pub in London

By James Evison

- Last updated on GMT

Brakspear opens first managed pub in London

Related tags Cask ale

Shepherds Bush site reopens as neighbourhood local.

Pub operator and brewer Brakspear is opening its first managed pub in London, the Pocket Watch in Shepherds Bush, which transfers across from its tenanted estate following a major refurbishment.

The pub, formerly called the British Queen, will become Brakspear’s seventh managed site when it reopens today (9 November).

Brakspear has redeveloped it as a ‘neighbourhood local’, aimed at young professionals living and working in the area.

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said: “The demographic of Shepherds Bush has changed dramatically over recent years, creating an exciting opportunity for us.

"We’ve reinvented the pub from traditional boozer to ‘third place’, where customers can enjoy a drink or a quick bite, chat with friends and maybe watch some live sport.

“It’s a community pub with a modern twist and we’re confident it’ll quickly become a favourite place to spend time in Shepherds Bush.”

The pub’s traditional Victorian interior has been redesigned in-house with elements reflecting its heritage, such as the etched glass windows and period colour palette, contrast with modern lighting and industrial furniture and fittings. There is also super-fast broadband and charging points for laptops or tablets.

Guests will be able to select from a drinks range which includes Brakspear cask ales, premium draught and craft beers and ciders and premium spirits.

The food menu will change every couple of months, and includes small plates such as popcorn prawns and spam fritters, and large plates such as such as burger, steak, mac ‘n’ cheese and baked seabass. A small selection of desserts and cheeses complete the offer. 

Entertainment includes big screen TVs for sports fans with Australian Rules football being shown to cater for the area’s sizeable Australian population. Live music will also be a regular fixture.

The Pocket Watch is the third pub to join Brakspear’s managed division this year, following the acquisitions of the George Hotel in Shipston-on-Stour in May and the Church Street Townhouse in Stratford-upon-Avon in October.

Brakspear’s first managed pub, the Bull on Bell Street in Henley-on-Thames, opened in March 2013, followed by the Porch House in Stow-on-the-Wold, the Running Horses in Mickleham, Surrrey and the Chequers in Marlow.

In September this year, Brakspear appointed Ed Turner as a non-executive director with a remit to help develop its managed pub division.

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