"There’s a very clear reason why people from Canary Wharf should go to The George,” said Rupert Clevely, chief executive of Hippo Inns, which took over the Isle Of Dogs pub earlier in 2017.
“While everything in Canary Wharf is gorgeous, wonderful, new, fresh and exciting, The George represents a lovely traditional, beautiful East End pub and it’s two stops from Heron Quays DLR. It’s got a great garden, a lovely range of beers and a real east London pub feel.”
By picking up a copy of The Wharf newspaper, readers can try a free pint or soft drink at The George until June 18 (terms and conditions on the voucher apply).
Rupert has run pubs for more than two decades most notably as a founder of Geronimo Inns.
But having taken over and spruced up The Geroge he has no wish to alienate its regulars, preferring a gentle evolution to see it serve them as well as Canary Wharf workers and newcomers to the area.
He said: “If The George were just a simple, traditional boozer it would last probably for another two or three years but the reality is life is changing around it very fast.
"I don’t mean anything negative towards Canary Wharf, because I think it’s great, but what we’ve tried to do is to maintain and create an exciting place that has that real, traditional feel to it.
“We don’t want to lose our existing customers but they, and we, have to realise life must move on.
"We need to play the times and we need to work with the people who live in the area and not take away their home.
"A good pub is an extension of your home because you can’t always have a party in your house but you can there.
“We love the idea of a traditional public bar versus a saloon bar – both will retain a lot of the people who live locally and people from Canary Wharf will come to the saloon bar because it’ll be slightly different to what they’re used to. You have to have that point of difference.”
To that end, visitors won’t find any attempt to veneer fine dining onto the Crossharbour venue as it would be counterproductive.
Rupert said: “Why would people in Canary Wharf want to come out to have fancy restaurant food in a pub?
“People want really good, wholesome, freshly cooked food that comes quickly, looks good on the plate and isn’t expensive."Food is important, but there’s no point in making our food offer the same as the rest of Canary Wharf because that would be a disaster.
"We’re really proud of this launch. It was a well-run, family operation that was very popular and we’re going to nurture it, love it.
"We’re taking it on and we’re in it for all the people who are there. We’ll move with the times, show we understand the locals and build a lovely, pub that will offer something for both the existing residents and the people moving into the area.
"I think it’s very different to all the other pubs in a two mile radius.
"To be successful you have to run a great pub and that’s what we intend to do – great service, lovely staff, great food and being mine host is the key to our success."
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