A Brief History of the Gastropub

The term “gastropub” was first introduced in 1991 by two British pub owners in London. But it wasn’t until 2012 when “gastropub” earned a spot in Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. But what’s in a name? Isn’t it the same as a regular ‘ol pub. Sure, you may think so, but a gastropub is quite different from a standard pub.

What Differentiates a Gastropub from a Regular Pub?
Most pubs, especially of the British variety, were solely drinking establishments. Little emphasis was focused on serving food. And, if there was food, well frankly, it wasn’t very good. Remember, the emphasis was on the beer. When these traditional pubs did serve food it was a commonly a simple dish, oftentimes served cold.

So, the standard pub didn’t care too much about food. This is where there’s a difference. Gastropubs reinvigorated pub dining in London and began popping up across the pond and here in the U.S. throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. From east to west, refined gastropubs became more commonplace. Today the gastropub is a dominant restaurant genre here in America.

Gastropubs Today
Today’s American gastropubs have their own separate identities, individual from that of their predecessors. It’s not unusual to find fried foods, a signature burger, cured meats and selection of seasonally-inspired offerings on a gastropub menu. So, when choosing a great place to eat, and to drink, think gastropub.

Wally’s Pub Grub
While the original pubs were famous for their standard Ploughman’s lunches, think a cold sandwich, pickle and a few other fixings, Wally’s, and pubs from near and far, are offering up elevated pub food that pairs well with the libations and spirits found behind the bar -- not just the beer, which is the focus of traditional pubs the world across.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Macaroni and cheese skillet
The local’s choice

Fish and chips
A classic pub grub staple

Short rib roast, Christopher-style
Chef Christopher Collin’s take on pot roast

View our full menu here.

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