Merlin Labron-Johnson to open wine bar and épicerie in Bruton

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Merlin Labron-Johnson to open wine bar and épicerie in Bruton

Related tags: Chef, Restaurant, Wine, Somerset

Chef Merlin Labron-Johnson is to open a wine bar and grocery store close by to his farm-to-table restaurant Osip in Bruton, Somerset.

Set to launch in January, The Old Pharmacy - named after the 16th Century building in which it’s housed - will be inspired by the épiceries (grocery shops) of rural France.

Working alongside Labron-Johnson on the project will be Osip operations manager David Durban, whose CV also includes stints at Petersham Nurseries and Frenchie.

The Old Pharmacy will be open all day for coffees and lunches, which will include seasonal salads made using garden vegetables grown by the chef.

In the evening, the wine bar will serve a selection of small plates alongside a list of natural wines and beers.

Cider will also feature heavily on the drinks list, with bottles from Wilding and Find & Foster, as well as Labron-Johnson's own Osip cider made in collaboration with Martin Berkley of Pilton.

Meanwhile, The Old Pharmacy’s retail offering will shine a light on quality produce from local Somerset suppliers.

Seasonal vegetables harvested from Labron-Johnson's nearby vegetable plots will be available alongside Tamworth pig charcuterie; local dairy, farmhouse cheeses; pickles and preserves; locally-milled flours; organic grains; and selected wines.

“The Old Pharmacy feels like a natural progression from Osip," says Labron-Johnson, who previously cooked at London restaurants Portland and Clipstone.

"At the restaurant we let the home-grown, seasonal ingredients shine, so I wanted The Old Pharmacy to continue in this vein and allow locals and visitors alike to be able to take home the same produce we use at the restaurant just a few doors down.

"I love the idea that you could drop in to The Old Pharmacy and pick up some supplies to take away like some local cheese with beautiful charcuterie and a jar of pickles, and go off into the Somerset countryside to enjoy a picnic with loved ones, or choose to stay and settle in for the night with some wine, cider and small plates.”

Related topics: Openings, Restaurant, Chef

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