Beavertown Brewery will close its East London restaurant, Duke’s Brew & Que, effective immediately. Founder of the London based brewery, Logan Plant, announced the closure via Beavertown’s blog on Monday afternoon. In the post he described the restaurant, which opened in 2012 and was the birthplace of the brewery itself, as being “no longer a natural fit for Beavertown’s future.”
WHY IT MATTERS
The news of this closure will no doubt come as a shock to many fans of the London brewery, but there were no signs that such a move was on the horizon. On a recent visit the restaurant appeared, as it always does, to be very busy, with no empty seats in the house. Beavertown even chose the venue to host out of town brewers for its recent Extravaganza anniversary celebration. However, much like the local brewing scene, London’s restaurant culture has changed beyond recognition in the last five years.
De Beauvoir Town, the area of the Hackney borough where the restaurant is based, has seen a boom in dining culture in recent years. From the likes of Brawn, which specializes in seasonal plates and natural wines, to Chick ‘n’ Sours, one of the most popular fried chicken joints in the capital, this little corner of East London has no shortage of great places to eat.
“Personally, I’m heartbroken," Beavertown founder Logan Plant tells GBH. "So many great memories and friendships made. Duke’s will forever be the original home of Beavertown. I’m so proud of what we achieved over the past six years.”
Plant founded Beavertown in the kitchen at Duke’s Brew and Que. It was here that he first brewed beers such as Neck Oil, Smog Rocket, and Gamma Ray, which went on the form the foundation of Beavertown’s core lineup. The restaurant even gave the brewery its name, as "Beavertown" was the nickname often given to De Beauvoir town by locals. The brewery soon outgrew the restaurant and was eventually moved to a second site on Hackney’s Fish Island, before eventually finding a new home at its current Tottenham facility.
update: Speaking via the brewery’s Twitter account, Beavertown stated that the restaurant was “no longer making the profit it needed to survive.” When concerns were raised about the well being of the staff by some on social media, the brewery assured that it was doing its level best to ensure that “no one is left in a bad situation.”
Beavertown Creative Director Nick Dwyer also has fond memories of the restaurant, having worked there as a waiter before going full-time at the brewery.
“I’m going to miss Duke's so much, both as a former employee and a current punter. It was full to the brim with the most passionate, creative people I have ever met, and is the main reason I am where I am today.” Dwyer tells GBH. “London is a different landscape from when they opened the doors, and it’s the biggest shame in the world it can't keep rolling on in the current climate.”
Beavertown continues to be one of the fastest growing breweries in the UK, and this might not all be bad news, if long-discussed rumors of the brewery opening a separate East London bar are to be believed. When Duke’s Brew and Que launched in 2012, the imported concept of American-influenced craft beer and BBQ was alien to many Brits. But since then, it’s become one of the most replicated concepts in modern British dining. Many similar outfits, such as the London-based Bodean’s and the Yorkshire-based Red’s True BBQ, have since gone on to open multiple sites and are still expanding. As for the brewery, well:
“Beavertown plans are not changing at all,” Plant adds. “We are full steam ahead.”