For centuries, pubs have been the beating heart of the community up and down the country. High streets were buzzing with bakeries, grocery stores, fishmongers and butchers. As the high street has changed over time with the rise of the internet, shops and pubs have had to be innovative to continue welcoming people through the doors.
Britain’s most well-known publican and two Michelin-starred chef, Tom Kerridge, wants to bring the humble high street alive again. The Butcher’s Tap will open this November and will combine a butchers and public house into one. It will fully function as a butchers and bar during the day, then from 5pm the space will operate with a simple meat-led food offering while remaining truly a pub, with beers on tap, wines and spirits, and community nights.
Tom is partnering with friend and butcher Andy Cook and Greene King. Andy Cook helps build an understanding of quality products and has been providing The Hand and Flowers with first class produce for nearly 10 years. Andy brings with him extensive knowledge in his trade, a warm and personable character and of course top quality meat sourced from expert, trusted suppliers.
This project marks the first of Greene King’s joint venture concepts, an innovative new programme for its Pub Partners division that will see the pub company and brewer team up with the best entrepreneurs and innovators who have the courage to be bold and try something new.
Tom says, “The quality of produce that Andy brings is uncompromising, and he’s a proper butcher. We want The Butcher’s Tap to be the heart and soul of Marlow, somewhere you can pop in every week for your usual order that we’ll have ready for you, but also a place you can have a pint and a hot pork pie straight out of the oven.”
The Butcher’s Tap’s food menu will of course be a celebration of meat, with plenty of British favourites such as braised faggots and hot-pots, homemade pies, scotch eggs and sausage rolls. This is no-frills but - as always - tasty eating; diners will be tucking into the roast meat of the day that’s informally served in a bun, no plates or cutlery required. Tom wants everyone to be able to eat with one hand and keep their other hand free for holding a drink while chatting to friends or battling it out during a pub quiz.
The bar will stock a highly curated selection of real ales, lagers and spirits, with a small but ever-revolving choice of wines. The drinks list won’t be extensive but it will be thoughtfully chosen.
Ultimately, The Butcher’s Tap will be a friendly, welcoming hub for the local community where people can meet for a drink and some simple, honest food.
Clive Chesser, Managing Director of Greene King Pub Partners, says, “We aim to work with the best in the business and are thrilled that the next step of our ongoing partnership with Tom Kerridge also marks the start of what we hope will be a major development in our Pub Partners division.
“The Butcher’s Tap is the first of our innovative new joint venture concepts and our partnership in Marlow combines a world famous chef with two Michelin stars alongside a first-class butcher with huge experience and Greene King’s brands and retail expertise.
“We have enjoyed a long and rewarding partnership with Tom Kerridge that has seen the Hand & Flowers in Marlow go from strength to strength and I cannot think of a better partner with whom to launch our joint venture programme. These concepts will see us working with innovators in the industry to come up with new ideas to expand the potential of a pub and enhance even further the role it plays in a community.”