London’s Spitalfield neighbourhood has seen a number of new businesses come in, leaving a dusting of old scattered about. But tonight we’ve walked into one of the area’s oldest pubs, which in reality is but two months old… The Gun London has finally re-opened, or as they’ve more aptly described it: “we’re back with a bang.”
The new pub is a loving nod to the former which was established in the mid-1700s serving the soldiers of the Artillery Ground. Demolished four years ago to make room for the new building developments, The Gun’s wooden floors are a welcome replacement to the former’s sticky red carpets, and copper piping sending beer straight from keg to glass serves as a reminder of the copper artillery factories of old. Beyond the spirits that line the backbar are shattered pieces of glass, purposefully shot in a field explains Jonny Bramwell, the General Manager.
Jonny came to The Gun London four months ago when The East London Pub Co. owners approached him with the prospect of helping them open the pub. Originally from Devon, working as an auxiliary nurse, he fell into bartending in need of some extra cash. Tending bar stuck as he loved working with people, climbing his way up to managing pubs across the UK before landing in London at the Coppa Club, and now at The Gun. “Good booze, banter, the whole vibe of the place resonated with me, so I decided to take on the challenge,” says Jonny right after he tells us he’s preparing a very ‘boozy’ cocktail. “It’ll be a mix of gin, whiskey, sherry, and maraschino, which makes for a bitter combination, but takes you on a journey of bitter, sweet and smooth.”
Delicious, Jonny begins describing the cocktail menu to us. It was developed between him and assistant manager Alison Lynch by borrowing heavily from the classics. Thirty-six gins range the menu, each with their own tonic and garnish, 19 beers, 42 wines, a favourite brown spirits. Jonny chose all of his spirits by thinking about what most people enjoying drinking, adding in a few personal treasures, and imagining what might work best in cocktails.
To prepare for their opening in December 2018, Jonny had to build his team. He chose bartenders with a blank slate, some that had just moved to the area with a passion for working hard. He wanted big personalities to complete the vibe of the pub. And working at The Gun has its perks… each bartender is educated on all of the cocktails through a tasting session. “That way, everyone is better placed to make a recommendation based on the needs of the customer.”
In a few weeks time (this February), The Gun will begin introducing food by head chef Jimi Tegerdine. Alongside the classic fish & chips and burgers, the chef will be using his culinary experience from stints around the world to introduce supper clubs that pair alongside a wine, gin, beer or whiskey flight. A four to five course meal alongside live bands or DJs on Saturday nights is exactly what Spitalfields could use before a night out in London.
1. Describe your bar in a few words.
Funky, cool pub.
2. What’s the best thing you’ve seen from behind bar?
Once when a group was spraying a bottle of champagne they drenched George Clooney.
3. Why is gin so popular?
It’s very accessible and has become more visible. Brands in the ’90s and ’00s did a great job building brands. They’re efforts are currently paying off.
4. What about Brockmans appeals to you?
The bottle is pretty damn cool. Uniquely aromatic, not a lot of gins have the flavour profile that Brockmans’ does.
5. If you could have one last drink before you died, what would you choose?
A classic Negroni. Equal measures of booze.
By Jonny and Miguel
- 20ml Brockmans Gin
- 20ml Jameson Whiskey
- 20ml Cinzano Rosso
- 15ml Manzanilla La Guita
- 20ml Marashino Liqueur
- Lemon Oil
- Twist of Lemon
- Pour all ingredients into a shaker
- Shake and double strain into a coupe glass
- Garnish with a twist of lemon.
The Gun can be found at 54 Bushfield St., London E1 6AG.