The Brunswick, renowned as one of Gloucester’s most popular pubs, re-opened in July 2012 much to the delight of a generation of pub-goers from near and far – with a new fan base growing steadily.
Described as an ‘arty, alternative, avant garde home-from-home for creative and creatively-minded people,’ The Brunswick has been refurbished with unique touches including impressive armour made by film and television armourer Jonathan Peck and Norton Armouries.
Serving good quality, affordable food, The Brunswick offers a varied menu served throughout the pub’s extensive opening hours – with daily specials and promotions to look out for. Not to mention drinks promotions, two pool tables, a large function room available to hire at reasonable rates, and free Wi-Fi for customers.
With a long established reputation for live music, Saturday nights will see a bevy of bands play at ‘the Brunnie’, with DJ sets also expected, not to mention monthly Sunday night sets from Gloucester Blues Club. Plus, from superhero parties to burlesque nights, a host of theme nights and special events are in the pipeline.
For more information see The Brunswick’s group on facebook.com or call (01452) 300556.
The Brunswick pub in Gloucester has finally re-opened its doors. With the promise of live music and opportunities to chow down on Man vs Food portions, SoGlos stopped by to see if it still lives up to its rocking reputation.
Gloucester city centre pub The Brunswick enjoys a long reputation for putting on some of the best grassroots gigs Gloucestershire has seen – with generations of music fans harbouring fond memories of its laidback atmosphere. And when it closed its doors a few years ago, gone with it was a small part of the county’s music culture… but not for long.
Cue the grand re-opening in June 2012 and a few months later, the arrival of the SoGlos team – complete with high hopes of getting into the ‘the Brunny’ spirit with bellies in need of fuel for the weekend.
We were expecting – and secretly hoping – that The Brunswick hadn’t changed much since its heyday, and as soon as we stepped through the light, pale exterior, we found ourselves back in our teens, once again enveloped in the bustling bar which despite a recent makeover maintained its slight Gothic feel – with rich red and purple walls, right up to the ceiling.
The large bar forms the centrepiece of the venue, complete with a popcorn maker and cheery staff chatting away to an eclectic mix of drinkers: from South African rugby types to metal heads, Brit pop lads to old rockers – everyone, it seems, is warmly welcomed here.
The big leather sofas in one corner of the room hosted a group of lively merrymakers and a couple of pool tables in another were in constant use by leather-clad cool kids, while the stage up front was big enough for even the most energetic of five-piece rock bands.
And if you miss it on the way in – which admittedly, we did – there’s also a suit of armour display tucked away, which is the handiwork of Jonathan Peck and Norton Armouries – with evil Doctor Doom from the Fantastic Four a certain conversation starter.
Our welcome into the child- and dog-friendly pub was warm from enthusiastic manager Sharelle, and we were soon settled at our table, bedecked with a charming tea lantern, while we supped on a couple of well-priced drinks.
The Brunswick proudly displays a sign at the bar that reads: ‘If we’re open, then the kitchen’s open!’ promising hungry locals an array of stick-to-your-ribs fare cooked to order even up to 3am on a Saturday.
From smoked salmon with cream cheese and bacon and banana wraps, to roast chicken salad and bacon, Brie and cranberry baguettes, everything on the simple ‘anytime’ menu allows you to fill up for under a fiver – with those brave enough getting the chance to try some new flavour combinations too.
And while my partner’s mouth watered at the sound of his DIY combination of Jamaican curry and Echeesiastical chips, I plumped for the speciality Brunny Chow, described as ‘a quarter loaf of bread, disembowelled and filled with mixed bean chilli’.
The latter could well put The Brunswick on American pig-out King, Adam Richman’s radar, as what arrived looked more like a mammoth half loaf of crusty farmhouse bread filled to bursting with a veggie’s delight, topped with the loaf ‘innards’ and, of course, a token side salad.
With a spicy kick, rich tomatoes and packed with all sorts of pulses; kidney, black, and haricot beans as well as chickpeas, the chilli was flavoursome, filling and chunky with veg – proof of its homemade claim – and although the bread itself was lovely and soft, I was left wishing I’d opted for a lighter and healthier side option, as the loaf just didn’t seem to add a great deal to the meal other than sheer bulk.
The Jamaican curry also packed a punch with hints of hot chilli, cumin and coriander coming through against the strong turmeric that gives it its yellow colour, and while the chicken itself had good flavour, a lack of veg made the texture overall slightly dry in the mouth. While the Echeesiastical chips were exactly what they said on the tin – cheesy chips that added a new texture to the dish, but we were not convinced these were homemade too.
While The Brunswick doesn’t claim to be a restaurant or offer haute cuisine, and is perhaps not a destination foodies will be flocking to, it is sure go down a treat with local students and gig-going groups who are looking for a quick and cheap meal out for lunch or before a bevy or two in the evening.
But with gigs, festivals and DJ sets spanning metal to dubstep, and indie to drum and bass lined-up, The Brunswick is gearing up to its legendary status, and will no doubt soon cement its place back in the heart of Gloucestershire pub culture.
By Shelly Elcock
Wednesday 26 September 2012
Lively bar with loud music and a packed dancefloor before the clubs open. Happy hour offers.
Butlers Venue Bar in Gloucester is a bustling bar located on the city’s Eastgate Street, offering regular drinks deals.
Popular pre-club bar, with occasional live music. Formerly known as Spirit.
Very popular pub for drinkers of all ages, with Innteraction nightclub just next door. Well-priced lunch menu.
During the day offers good lunch options, while at night becomes a DJ bar for younger crowds heading to Gloucester’s nightclubs.