So what on earth are two nice boys like you doing in the pub and restaurant game?
We became interested in the pub scene from a very early age, probably from about 12 years onwards.
We used to spend many Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes in country pubs with family and friends, we both worked in pubs throughout our teens and whilst at university. Then, at the end of the '90s, we decided to work together as we felt the time was ideal to launch our own style of gastro pub in central London.
Do you actually pour pints or cook food in any of your establishments?
We’re still very involved with all of our sites and will always muck-in with day-to-day running if necessary. Tom still visits Billingsgate Market on a regular basis keeping contact with his loyal merchants there.
You now have 11 successful venues out there. Isn’t that enough?!
Well, we are committed to growth! After One Canada Square, which opened in October, we have a number of sites in the pipeline. We hope to open two in London within the next 12 months and have more planned for later in 2014 and 2015.
Where are your favourite places to drink or eat, not including your own places of course...
We were spending a lot of time in Canary Wharf working on One Canada Square, and Roka has extended us a very warm welcome and provided the perfect space to refuel between meetings. A new favourite in town is Brasserie Chavot for superb food and service, and you can’t beat The Mitre pub just off Hatton Garden for a post-work pint and a toasted sandwich.
What can we expect next?
As far as the Docklands is concerned, we already have, what we believe to be, the most incredible gastro pub in the local area, The Gun, and now all eyes are on our One Canada Square venue. It’s not a pub or gastro pub, but rather quite the opposite. We have literally taken an empty lobby space in one of the UK's tallest operational office buildings and converted it into a 100-cover restaurant and bar. The two offerings should complement each other perfectly.
You must check it out for yourself sometime, Walton …
Thank you both and you’re right, I must indeed have a look! I look forward to reporting back from One Canada Square.