Spitalfields’ historic pub The Gun reopens after a £2.5 million makeover by Heineken and East London Pub Co.
Market workers once gathered at this near-century-old Spitalfields watering hole after a day’s trading – now The Gun returns four years after closing, fresh from a £2.5 million redevelopment by Heineken and East London Pub Co.
Hugging a corner at the Southside of Spitalfields market, The Gun now finds itself at a juncture between Liverpool Street’s corporate slickness and the cultural cornucopia of Shoreditch. Interiors nod to the area’s past (Henry VIII’s artillery ground was around the corner) and walk a delicate line between stripped-back industrial and classically elegant.
Each of its three sections is designed to transition seamlessly from day to night. Walk past booths upholstered in burnt orange leather, an expansive bonsai tree and pewter bar counter, resplendent in copper and green marble, to find an inviting mezzanine lit by a grand open fire and filled with teal velvet sofas.
This place offers more than just your average drinks menu. Exmouth Coffee Roasters espresso features in the oak smoked espresso martini, naturally, but it’s put to refreshingly different use in the Crosshairs – a heady mix of El Dorado rum, campari, Cinzano and raspberry. We loved the Winchester’s blend of Aperol with Wild Turkey 101 bourbon, grapefruit, sherbert and lemon. Craft spirits, fine wines and an extensive beer list add further dilemma to decision-making.
No matter how pleasingly decorated, you’d be forgiven for assuming the menu at a city-meets-Shoreditch boozer be crammed with meaty gastropub grub aimed at the after work drinks crowd. Given, head chef Jimi Tegerdine does have buttermilk fried chicken, scampi with proper chips and a couple of beef burgers on the menu (the bacon burger is a delight, by the way), but he also caters to pickers, pescatarians, pasta aficionados and vegans.
Small plates cover all bases and include Chalk Stream Trout Tartare, Grilled Celeriac ‘Taco’ with Burnt Avocado, Scotch Egg with Njuda and Walnut Sauce and Baked Tomino Cheese with Sourdough Chips. Thoughtful takes on well-known and well-loved tastes are de rigueur at The Gun. Find East London Pub Co’s other Spitalfields staple, The Ten Bells, a few minutes down the road.
The Gun, 54 Brushfield St, London E1 6AG
Words by Jade Hammond