Owners of the Fish Club expand into first pub
Fish Club restaurant owners, Steve Orme, James Thomson and Jack Sutton are taking on their first pub, the Red Lion in Shepperton, a Star Pubs & Bars site located on the River Thames.
Together with Star Pubs & Bars, they are investing £500,000 to update the pub and transform it into a food-led family pub.
A complete overhaul of the interior and exterior of the pub began this week and will take seven weeks to complete. The inside will be reconfigured to provide a more open, relaxed drinking and ad-hoc eating area and a separate dining area with seating for 50. Phase two will start next spring, comprising a new river garden with its own bar and kitchen.
Star Pubs & Bars is the leased pub arm of Heineken UK, with 1,285 sites in the UK. It already leases food-led pubs to chefs, including Aiden Byrne at Church Green, Lymm, in Cheshire, and Michael Scott at the Roebuck in Warwick.
The Fish Club operates two combined restaurant and fish shops in Clapham and was named by Time Out magazine as one of the top 50 restaurants in London.
Founders Orme and Thomson grew up in Shepperton and are keen to create a neighbourhood pub.
Orme said: "When we saw the lease was available and that Star Pubs & Bars was prepared to invest in improving it, we knew we could create a pub that people in the area would love."
He added: "If we hadn't been able to lease the Red Lion, it would have been difficult for us to raise the funds needed to take on a pub like this in such a fantastic location."
The new venture will not operate as a Fish Club. Instead, the menu will feature affordable seasonal dishes, starting at £10 for mains, as well as bar favourites, such as scotch eggs, sausage rolls and Red Lion scratchings. Weekends will kick off with Saturday brunch, from eggs Benedict to full English, with the Red lion Bloody Mary and there will be a traditional roast on Sundays.
"As with our Fish Club restaurants in Clapham, everything will be made fresh on the premises from our bread to our ice-cream. We're bringing the same focus on quality ingredients and excellent service to The Red Lion," said Orme.
Readers can follow the progress of the pub through twitter Tweets by rlionshepperton .