Fleet Street Pub: New Member Spotlight

226206_184738218244223_4082306_nIn the middle of downtown Nashville and a world away, Fleet Street Pub offers Nashvillians an alternative to the buzz-driven culinary hot spots popping up on every street corner: an English pub*.

“You have to be wanting to go to an English pub to go to an English pub,” explains co-owner Glenn Henderson. “Tourists visiting Nashville come wanting karaoke or live music, but it’s not here—here you can have a conversation.

“It’s one of the few places in Nashville that doesn’t feel like Nashville.”

From the beginning, Fleet Street Pub, which will celebrate its third anniversary this November 5—a nod to Guy Fawkes Night—has had a unique story. The building had been abandoned for two years before Glenn and business partner Ed Nottingham took ownership.

Flooded, rotted and a renovation nightmare for most, Glenn and Ed cleaned it out, added British touches to even the bathroom doors and chose the name—another nod:

Newspapers came into being in the English-speaking world on London’s Fleet Street, which Glenn describes as what Wall Street is to the finance world in the US, Fleet Street is to news media in the UK. Glenn worked as a journalist for the Nashville Banner earlier in his career and the pub is located on Printer’s Alley where Nashville’s printing and publishing history began, and so it became Fleet Street Pub.

Hatton Cross Hot Hen: your Nashville hot chicken with an English twist

Hatton Cross Hot Hen: your Nashville hot chicken with an English twist

Also unique to the pub is its menu, offering authentic English pub fare made fresh each day, and it’s what keeps food industry veterans, Capitol Hill employees and other loyal customers coming back. It’s traditional English comfort food without the traditional blandness of traditional English comfort food.

“We may look like a dive bar, but we take our food very seriously,” says Glenn.

Everything comes in fresh and is prepared by hand, from the lamb which is delivered on the bone and ground by the chefs for the lamb burger to the sausages which are also made in the Fleet Street kitchen from their own recipes; no shortcuts and no microwaves.

Popular dishes include the Fleet Street Chicken Pie baked in a made-from-scratch crust—prepared using chicken fat instead butter or shortening—and the classic Picadilly Fish and Chips. The traditionally Scottish, award-winning Queensway Cock-a-Leekie soup is also a favorite among diners.

Glenn’s passion for the pub is apparent in everything from the menu to the service. You’d be hard pressed to find another restaurateur as dedicated to making sure his customers are as happy as his employees. Fleet Street Pub is a proud sponsor of the Nashville Rollergirls, of which two of his servers are members, and the restaurant participates in numerous charity events around town.

The future of Fleet Street Pub continues to be bright with talk of adding a Sunday brunch and possibly opening a second location. But for now, it’s still a place to watch the Arsenal match at 6:30 a.m. with 20 strangers, drown your bangers and mash in brown sauce and enjoy a beer you won’t find anywhere else in Tennessee served on tap.

So why an English pub? Glenn’s answer is simple.

“It’s the kind of place I like to hang out.”

Just like that. No live bands, no trivia and no gimmicks, Fleet Street Pub is the kind of place to have a good conversation over great food and quality beer.

 

*If you’re new to the English pub scene, here are five simple guidelines to follow:

  1. Fries are chips.
  2. Chips are crisps.
  3. Your chips or crisps will be served with a side of aioli, not ketchup.
  4. Brown sauce goes great on everything.
  5. Never confuse American football with English football, as the two are very different sporting events and the Brits are as serious as a heart attack about it.