The company currently has two pubs which operate under the White Brasserie brand, The King’s Head in Teddington and The Queen’s Head in Weybridge, and will open three more pubs this year. These are The Hare, which opens in Middlesex next week, The British Queen, which opens in Orpington in August, and The Sun Inn, which will open in Chobham towards the end of the year.
When asked what sort of pubs the group look to acquire, director of Brasserie Bar Co Mark Derry said: “We’re keen to stay reasonably South around the M25; all the pubs we’re looking at just now are in that sort of area. We’re not really into new builds; we’re much more interested in traditional looking buildings. You won’t find our pubs in an airport.
“We do a lot of work to the pubs we acquire, in many cases they’re quite run down. The other thing is we’re trying to have 100 seat restaurants in them, so we’ll do extensions where need be and spend upwards of £1m if we have to.”
Derry said: “The ESO funding enables us to rollout our successful pub brand and The Hare is the first step in growing our portfolio. We are confident that The Hare will offer fantastic quality food in a relaxed home-from-home environment.”
The Hare, which opened in 1706, has undergone a complete refurbishment under its new operators. The pub has 120 covers and has been designed to return to its classic pub atmosphere, featuring reclaimed wooden floors, oak beams, relaxed lighting and leather banquette seating. It also has a garden which will be able to seat 40 more people in the warmer months.
The Brasserie Bar Co also owns Brasserie Blanc, and its pubs serve dishes based on the restaurant’s menu. The Hare is no exception, serving traditional British cuisine with French influences as part of a changing, seasonal menu.
“What we’re trying to do is our kind of food, which is freshly made using reasonably locally sourced produce, and we want to do that in a pub,” explained Derry. “We’re trying to make the pub food offer as good a quality as we hope our brasseries are.”
The menu will offer sharing boards such as a Ploughman’s or a Fisherman’s, and starters available include warm ox tongue salad, Burgundian snails in garlic herb butter, and salmon tartare. There will be a selection of main dishes such as Toulouse sausage with a Lyonnaise sauce, fresh fig and Jervaulx blue cheese and onion tart, dressed Brixham crab with lemon mayonnaise, and 30 day dry-aged Cornish heritage steaks. There will also be pub favourites like gammon steak with duck egg and chips, and pie of the week. Desserts on offer include crêpes Suzette with an orange and Cointreau sauce, chocolate and coffee marquise with a praline sauce, and summer berry savarin with crème Chantilly.
The Hare will have an extensive wine list to compliment the food, with many French varieties. There will also be a selection of London draught beers and bitters alongside a range of spirits available.