This month, we’re launching another series called Mom & Pop Shop. Set to highlight the family-run, small businesses in our community, we’re kicking it off by popping into the Lion & Eagle Pub for a cheeky pint and a chat with owner Rob Allen.
Allen didn’t grow up as a military brat, but he did travel the world as a child thanks to his father’s job. Although he was born in England–as his accent authenticates–he actually spent more time living in Peru and in the States than his motherland. His brother Simon was working at the Lion & Eagle Pub when he learned it was up for sale, and the rest is history–Allen has now owned this favorite local watering hole for 13 years.
Although it’s just blocks from the beach, one is instantly transported to England once they step inside and allow their eyes a moment to adjust to the dim lighting. Dark wood furniture, cozy banquette nooks and numerous TVs line the walls, and the atmosphere of a traditional English pub is unmistakable. Below, we chat with Allen to learn more about this beloved local institution.
What’s the best part of your job?
Allen: The gratification when people come in and have a great experience. They feel the warmth. Having a venue where people can come to feel relaxed. It’s the neighborhood pub where everyone feels welcomed.
What can people expect?
Allen: Some people think of it as an old style English pub. I equate it to like a Cheers environment that’s intimate, a drinking establishment that serves quality food.
Speaking of food, what are the dishes we should definitely try?
Allen: The fish and chips are unique. It’s a hearty portion of fried haddock or cod on a bed of hand peeled and cut French fries – that we call chips – with a side of tartar sauce. We also serve breakfast all day. The full English breakfast comes with two bangers (sausages), two rations of bacon, black pudding, couple of eggs, baked beans, mushrooms, tomatoes and toast. That’s what we’re renowned for.
Besides food, what are you known for?
Allen: We’re the football bar in this area. Any game, if I am able to show it, we’re open for it. On weekends we typically open at 7 a.m. I’ve always been a part of the football community so it’s something I always wanted to do.
You’re a pub so tell us about the beer.
Allen: We have the best Guinness in town. It’s the best seller. The staff knows how to pour it. We also serve European lagers and local beers.
Do you know of another family-owned business we should highlight? Let us know below in the comments.