Spotlight On: Hops & Glory
Hops & Glory sits on the corner of Essex Road, Islington, and following a major renovation last year its gain a new lease of life as a pub and dining room with a changing menu of delicious European cuisine – often tantalisingly displayed on their Instagram account – and their own brewed ale on tap at the bar.
We asked its owner, Durham Atkinson, exactly what makes it so unique:
We are a craft beer pub and bottle shop similar to many, however we also have our own brewery where we sell our beer at the only place its available. We also have a daily changing food menu focusing on local ingredients to compose European style home cooking cuisine.”
You source a lot of products from local suppliers, how do you go about selecting these suppliers?
We get in touch with our suppliers at the beginning of each week to find out what is available and what is coming up. We tailor our menu to these ingredients and compose dishes accordingly.
Do you face any challenges when it comes to serving high quality food quickly?
No not at all we breeze through it – just joking, yes there’s is the logistical challenge as our kitchen is small and often only has two chefs working hard to get food out swiftly and in a timely manner.
What would you say is Hops & Glory’s signature dish?
Our rabbit pie is a must have, served with bone marrow mash and girolles. Also our Sunday roast 16hour slow cooked beef short rib to share is always a winner!
I’m guessing your favourite on-tap would be your own Pale Ale, what influenced the decision for the pub to brew its own brand?
The idea came from a former manager who was also a home brewer. We had lots of extra space in our cellar, we thought it was going to waste and thought best to put a brewery in there to make our own beer.
Our future plans are to expand our brewery at a new site (and get ourselves in the Observer food monthly for serving the best Sunday lunch in the UK).
What would be your advice to anyone looking to start their own pub or restaurant?
Be prepared for long hours and late nights. You have to love what you do and be passionate about food and drink before thinking about running your own food or drink business. Don’t just do it because you think it’s cool or you’ll make loads of money. Margins are razor thin in the hospitality sector so enjoy it whilst you’re working hard.