Award-winning theatre producer turns his hand to hospitality with Maida Vale's Truscott Arms

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Storey, Building

Award-winning theatre producer Andy Fishwick and his wife Mary Jane Roberts Fishwick have acquired the Truscott Arms pub and restaurant in Maida Vale
Award-winning theatre producer Andy Fishwick and his wife Mary Jane Roberts Fishwick have acquired the Truscott Arms pub and restaurant in Maida Vale
Andrew Fishwick, a successful theatre producer whose work has won Olivier awards, is to open the Truscott Arms pub in Maida Vale as a 'creative hub of fine food, drink and art.'

Fishwick acquired the former Idlewild pub with his wife Mary Jane Roberts-Fishwick in December last year. The pair have spent the last few months renovating the Victorian property.

Although this will be the trained actor's first foray into running a hospitality business he is not entering alien territory. Like many in theatre, Fishwick spent periods of time between acting or producing jobs managing bars such as Slug & Lettuce and Pitcher & Piano venues.

"I knew the fundamentals of running those kinds of businesses," he told BigHospitality. "I always used to look at bars that were up for sale and say 'it is not quite the right time' or 'it is not the right area', but I always had an eye on one day going and doing it myself."

The ground floor of the corner pub will reopen today, while a first floor dining room is set to open at the end of the week. As part of a significant three-floor development, the garden has been doubled in size and the third floor of the building will feature three rooms for private and corporate events and a gallery hosting exhibitions by young UK artists.

Food-led

Fishwick was determined to make the Truscott Arms a food-led business and the entrepreneur has secured chef Etienne Bruwer to head up the kitchen.

Bruwer, who last cooked in London as part of the team at Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows, has developed a pub food menu which will be served throughout the building and will include British venison dry-cured on the premises and sausage rolls created using the South African chef's own sausage recipe.

The bar food dishes will cost from £3, meanwhile the 60-cover, first-floor restaurant's menu will feature a small number of dishes including halibut confit and braised grower salt marsh lamb belly. 

Drinks on offer in the Shirland Road venue will include a selection of London craft beer, bespoke cocktails and wines from a list of over 100 which will favour small, artisan growers.

Theatre

Despite his past career, Fishwick has resisted adding more nods to theatre in the property and the menus, however he said opening and running a hospitality business was very similar to producing a play.

"The outcome of what you want is almost exactly the same," he said. "It is running a big project, it is running teams of people, and it is running creatives such as architects and chefs who are not vastly different from actors and directors.

"The ultimate goal is a night out. It has to be entertaining. Saying 'have you seen James McAvoy's Macbeth' is like saying 'have you eaten at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal' - it is one of those cultural tick-offs," he concluded.

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