The smokey local Great Britain pub has had a makeover in recent years. Once a bastion of stale beer and cigarettes with simple food fare such as sandwiches, crisps, or a hot dish special, the pubs of today are now family friendly and offer a wide variety of good food, hearty ales, and an impeccable selection of fine wines. Physically, they offer more comfortable seating in a refined setting.
The Smoking Ban Started It All
A ban on smoking in public places came into effect in 2007. This change signaled to the restaurant industry that they needed to adapt to accommodate a changing clientele. Britain was no stranger to the international changes in food preparation that were sweeping the world. Patrons increasingly expected more food choices from better quality ingredients and the traditional pub menu was changed forever.
The New Gastropub
With the food changes came a new word. British citizens began calling bars that provided better food gastropubs. The success of these entities drove more changes and pubs increasingly became a family destination since they were now smoke free and had healthier items on the menu. No longer just the destination for the work weary at the end of the day, pubs are entering a new phase and are able to compete with dedicated restaurants for their trade.
Some pub owners have changed into theme restaurants and many feature curries or pastas on their menu. Others have upgraded traditional British favorites such as steak and kidney puddings or fish and chips to make them healthier and more enticing. Customers can still order bangers and mash, of course.
Pub cooks are trending to local produce and locally raised meats. Customers want to know where their food comes from and menus are written to let them know that they are eating sausage made from Glouchestershire pigs or mash made with King Edwards potatoes grown by the farmer down the lane. High brow solutions to increased interest in food and its preparation includes adding heirloom vegetables and meats from rare breed cattle.
Physical Upgrades In The Pub Kitchen And Dining Area
The simpler food served in the traditional pub didnt require much space or equipment. For this reason, British pubs must update and expand their kitchens with modern appliances geared for quality food production. Most dining areas have been upgraded as well with comfortable seating added and more upscale decor.
Public House Heritage
There is a long-standing tradition of local pubs in Great Britain. With hostelries in operation for many hundreds of years, the attachment to these establishments is very strong. Without the country inns or coaching houses, the culture of Britain would suffer. Many of these venerable establishments have become listed buildings and it is vital to sustain their architectural structure during the modernisation process.
Architects and owners work to retain the charm of these establishments while moving to introduce commercial kitchen design plans. As menus grow in size, kitchen staff require more equipment and longer work spaces with room for pizza ovens and specialized coffee equipment. The design process can be lengthy but when it is done well, everyone wins.
Using Technology To Retain Tradition And Improve Food
Restaurant design companies such can take full advantage of computers and specialized 3D software to visualise the upgraded kitchens. They enter existing specifications and list materials that are already available. Intelligent use of software can alter an awkward corner into an efficient and compact work station.
Designers devise solutions that seamlessly add the new to the old. With 3D imaging, they can virtually walk a client through installation of safety floors or the addition of a better ventilation system. Clients are included in the design process and solid decisions can be made prior to the start of reconstruction.
Of course, the UK engineers and designers have a vested interest in their projects. They know and love Britain pubs just like everyone else and look forward to their next trip to local pub.
By Geoff Roy
The UK pub history is such an important one that Geoff likes to do as much research as he can.