The term “gastropub” was coined in 1991, when David Eyre and Mike Belben took over The Eagle pub in Clerkenwell, London. Traditionally, British pubs were drinking establishments and little emphasis was placed on the serving of food. If pubs served meals they were usually basic cold dishes such as a ploughmans lunch. But all this was about to change. Demand began for a good honest pub serving sensibly priced affordable food that was genuinely of restaurant quality. And so developed a generic term that was able to distinguish between a place serving a decent meal and a local boozer offering a packet of crisps or a luke warm pie.
And so today we are spoiled with the selection of hostelries offering culinary excellence, top quality ingredients and innovation, and thanks to Estrella Damm, who are sponsoring the Gastropub Awards for the 4th year, we are able to savour what is considered to be the Top 50 in the UK (according to votes from 400 food critics and other culinary experts)
The concept of gastropubs largely redefined British dining and general pub culture but has attracted criticism for removing character from the good old British Pub serving what is fondly known as “Pub Grub” though we are sure their is a place in the market for both aspects of British dining.
In August 2012, “gastropub” was added to Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary