by Andrew Morrison | Steve Jenning’s London Pub has opened on the southeast corner of Main and Georgia on Chinatown’s southern border with Strathcona. I popped in yesterday for a gander…
There is no food just yet, as they’re still working on the kitchen that will be shared with next door’s Brixton Cafe (Mr. Jennings tells me they’re about two weeks away on that score). For the time being, it’s booze only, so thank goodness it’s liquor primary. On the aesthetics, it’s still unfinished but nowhere near as garish as I feared. He had told me that there would be nine flatscreen televisions – and there are – only they’re not as large and unsightly as I thought they might be. It’s a cavernous space, so they melt into the background rather unobtrusively instead of sucking all the soul from the place in a fierce tornado of blue light. The beer list – as you can see in one of the images above, is nicely done (no PBR for “Kate of Kits” to gripe about), and they appear to have some variety on tap.
In case you missed it, here’s what we wrote about the place when we gave word of its coming back in September…
Here are a few photos of the nearly completed “London Pub” and neighbouring Brixton Caffe at 700 Main St (at Georgia in Chinatown). I’ve been passing this property every day for a couple of months now and it’s finally taking promising shape (we could use a fresh watering hole in my neck of the woods). As you can see from the unearthed mosaic, it was once upon a time the London Hotel. Lovely old bones. The brick archways are particularly nice. I reckon they’re about a month away.
A couple of days ago I made mention of a new pub under construction near my house on the southeast corner of Main and Georgia in Chinatown. There was some speculation as to who was behind the project in the comments so I went by for another recce yesterday evening and found it to be the work of the affable Steve Jennings. He’s a “life-long pub lover” who’s striking out on his own after many years working with Donnelly Hospitality Management (Republic, Library Square, etc).
His room, which should be open to the public by the end of October, will seat 160, including 14 at an L-shaped bar (which will serve nearly a dozen local craft beers on tap). It will being staying open until 3am on the weekends with a kitchen plating bangers and mash, pot pies, and so forth. Nothing fancy. Just pub grub. We had a good debate on the desirable number of television screens. Jennings was thinking 9, while myself and an English construction worker lobbied for as few as 3. Though I’m a devout Canucks fan who very seldom misses a game, this ain’t the Granville Strip. What my neighbourhood needs is a place of bent elbows and conversation, not a sports bar.
Indeed, what will be particularly interesting to see is the clientele. It’s my belief that the customer base Jennings is used to from his lengthy DHM experience will not be making the trip (it’s too rough). He’ll more than likely have to rely on the residents of Chinatown, Strathcona and Mt. Pleasant to deliver the ducats, and as far as my read of the landscape goes, they ain’t the 9 TV breed of peeps.
I guess we’ll see how it goes.