Meet the three Northampton brothers preparing to open their own pub filled with games and cocktails

'We've been going out in the town's pubs for a while but we always felt like something was missing'

Monday, 24th August 2020, 5:10 pm

Three brothers from Northampton are working on opening a new pub in the town with a focus on combining games with sharing food to create a social hub.

Ellis, Jack and Josh Fitzgerald want to offer British tapas, fun activities like shuffleboard, skittles, darts and pool, and drinks in a classic pub setting which turns into more of a party atmosphere at night.

The trio, who grew up in Long Buckby, have been selling boxes of at-home cocktail toppings to raise awareness of their business, Brothers Pub Co., and some funds ahead of the scheduled launch at the end of next year.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

(L-R) Josh, Jack and Ellis Fitzgerald from Brothers Pub Co.

Josh, 29, said: "We've been going out in Northampton's pubs for a while but we always felt like something was missing - something with shareable, small bites and cocktails and social gaming.

"We wanted to bring all of that together to create an extraordinary experience really."

The brothers were inspired to start their own pub by their parents who are in the hospitality industry and their own backgrounds in hotel kitchens, cafes and just going out like normal young adults.

They believe Northampton is in need of somewhere with a combination of food, drink and games but that is still a bar, which has become popular in cities like London.

The inside of Brothers Pub Co.'s garnish boxes

Josh said: "It's going to be more of a gaming environment and activity bar but Northampton isn't cool enough or have enough people for a lot of the established brands.

"So we want to offer something for people in Northampton to enjoy but it's not just somewhere to get drunk or eat but also somewhere to have fun basically."

The trio hope to take over a 'character' building in the town centre to make it look like a traditional pub but the interior will be capable of changing after 7pm into more of a bar.

Jack, 24, will be in charge of the food having worked as a chef and set up his own chocolate company, with an emphasis on Northamptonshire produce to make British classic in small plates to share.

"It's going to be British-inspired tapas using locally-sourced ingredients but we're trying not to do the same old fashioned stuff," he said.

"We'll have just one burger, which will be plant-based as we think the vegan market is a growth sector but we'll have loads of toppings for it.

"But there will be around 20 items on the menu for people to pick and choose what they want and share it with their friends as no one wants a big, sit-down meal when they're trying to play games."

Ellis, 22, will be looking after the drinks as he currently works as a barista at Starbucks in Sixfields, so the coffees at the new pub should be spot on.

His plan is to have all local beers and ciders on tap as well as cocktails of all different sorts with various toppings on offer, which is where the 'garnish box' scheme came from.

The boxes are full of all sorts of things for people to cover their drinks with to make them perfect for Instagram, from coffee beans to popping candy.

They have been selling well during lockdown as a way for the brothers to get their name out there when coronavirus has cancelled all the festivals they planned to showcase at.

Josh said: "The garnish boxes have created a bit of a buzz as people are looking to see what we are offering while getting a different and innovative way to garnish your own cocktails.

"We're working on a Christmas box too but coronavirus means we can't get in front of people so that's why we've launched them as a way to get out there."

The brothers appreciate the irony of promoting a social venue when everyone is supposed to be social-distancing, as well as suggesting pubs are not already pretty social places.

But they hope, like everyone, the Covid-19 restrictions are not so strict by the end of 2021 and believe the games in their pub will make it somewhere people can stay for a while.

Being siblings also has its pros and cons but Josh thinks their individual skills and knowledge complement each other well to make them well-suited to take on this adventure.

"We clash sometimes as you can imagine but we all have separate qualities which is vital," he said.

"But all three of us have the same goal but have different experiences to bring to the table and I don't think many other people who start a pub can compete with that."