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The Eagle in Clerkenwell, London; the first pub to which the term gastropub was applied

A gastropub or gastro pub is a pub that serves gourmet comfort food.[citation needed] The term was coined in the 1990s, though similar brewpubs existed during the 1980s.


The term gastropub (derived from gastronomy) was coined in 1991,[1][2] when David Eyre and Mike Belben took over The Eagle pub in Clerkenwell, London.[1][2] Traditionally, British pubs were drinking establishments and little emphasis was placed on the serving of food.[3] If pubs served meals they were usually basic cold dishes such as a ploughman's lunch.[4]

The concept of gastropubs largely redefined both pub culture and British dining,[2][5] and has occasionally attracted criticism for potentially removing the character of traditional pubs.[1] "Pub grub" expanded to include British food items such as steak and ale pie, shepherd's pie, fish and chips, bangers and mash, Sunday roast, ploughman's lunch, and pasties. In addition, dishes such as hamburgers, chips, lasagne and chili con carne are now often served.[6][7]

In August 2012, gastropub was added to Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.[8]


The Fox in Dalston, London

In 1984 Spinnakers Brew Pub opened in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The first ever custom-built brewpub in Canada, it heralded a new wave of brewpubs and craft breweries in British Columbia that followed a major deregulation of the brewing industry in that province.[9] Spinnakers served inventive cuisine, and Joseph Blake of Eat magazine claims it as the world's oldest gastropub.[10] Difford's Guide credited David Eyre and Mike Belben with introducing the first gastropub to the UK, when they took over the Eagle in Clerkenwell in 1991 and upgraded the standard food options to "restaurant quality."[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Norrington-Davies, Tom (24 November 2005). "Is the gastropub making a meal of it?". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
  2. ^ a b c "American gastropub: what's in a name?". Art Culinaire. The Free Library. Spring 2007. Archived from the original on 13 May 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
  3. ^ "Pub Food". Retrieved 26 June 2009.
  4. ^ "Ploughman's Lunch - Icons of England". 16 July 2007. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2009.
  5. ^ Farley, David (24 May 2009). "New York Develops a Taste for Gastropubs". The Washington Post.
  6. ^ Better Pub Grub
  7. ^
  8. ^ "A Sample of New Dictionary Words for 2012". Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Spinnakers craft beer brewpub, Victoria, turns 30 | Brewed Awakening | the Province". Archived from the original on 25 February 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  10. ^ Blake, Joseph, "Victoria's Pub Revolution", Eat (Vol 18, No 5, October 2014), pp 14-15 (
  11. ^ "British pub food and the rise of the gastro pub". Retrieved 14 April 2021.

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