The rise of restaurant bars

Why have just one or the other, when you can have both? You could call that the basic thinking behind the concept of the restaurant bar – a cross between a restaurant and a bar. But, of course, the matter is more complicated than that. Here, we take a closer look at the emergence in popularity of restaurant bars – and why they don’t look likely to lose popularity at any time soon.


How the restaurant bar concept has come about

A restaurant bar can otherwise be referred to as a gastropub or gastrolounge, and is intended to take the benefits of both a restaurant and a bar while minimising the drawbacks usually associated with each. How does this work? Well, many casual punters enjoy visiting bars for a good chat over some great drinks. However, bars have traditionally placed little focus on serving food; what little food they served could have included such basic dishes as a ploughman’s lunch.

However, punters have become increasingly more discerning with what food they expect from drinking establishments – and this has led to restaurant bars becoming more popular and widespread. Restaurant bars can satisfy a greater cross-section of people; for example, once a restaurant has been converted into a restaurant bar, it can attract a higher number of regular customers, rather than just the more sporadic type who might only want to visit for special occasions like birthdays.


Popularity that has gone from strength to strength

Restaurant bars have given British dining and pub culture a significant shot in the arm. These days, it isn’t uncommon to see such traditional British food favourites as fish and chips, bangers and mash, steak and ale pie and a Sunday roast on offer in restaurant bars; dishes like lasagne, chilli con carne and Hamburgers have also become more commonly served at these outlets.

Restaurant bars also show no sign of losing popularity; they have, for example, captured public imagination in the United States since the 1990s, while other such eateries set to open in the UK in 2016 include Boadicea Bar & Restaurant in Colchester.

Places like these have added to an already enticing choice of restaurants and bars for many people in the UK; eateries of the same category in Colchester include The Britannia & Gurkha Restaurant and Bar. Plenty of more traditional eating and drinking spots, like quaint cafes, can also be found in this part of Essex.

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