Its official opening night on Thursday 10th saw an encouraging overspill of revellers smoking –and revelling - outside of the jaunty corner building, a scene which gave off a sort of Brooklyn vibe. Inside, the three floors were similarly packed, though not in a ridiculous sardine sort of way. The bar downstairs, with a healthy selection of kegs, bottles and cans reflects the eclectic beer-wisdom of the four proprietor pals, who take their expertise from Belgrave, Tall Boys, Northern Monk, The Brudenell and Nation of Shopkeepers respectively. The first floor gave us chance to sit, on communal picnic benches; pleasant little scrubbed pine numbers (no faffing around with varnish here) and some wispy minimal greenery. This kind of venue proves that if the beer, food and company are good, the minimalism is more of a canvass for socialising, rather than a statement in itself. The food is similarly simple yet effective with a small brunch and ‘all day’ selection, based around seasonal produce.
Up again is the top floor events room, which was vibrant with installations, projections, live art wall murals being painted and DJ Mo Kolours on the decks. This space will be used generally as a spot for events, largely as a gallery space for rotating hosts. The marriage of casual dining, beer and arts is always positive, encouraging art to be social and inclusive rather than about a cavernous, silent gallery space and The Brunswick shows a lot of promise in these departments.
The four friends involved in the opening: Matty Wall, Samuel Haworth, Nick Lofts and Samuel Ward weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty with renovations. Stripping out the remnants of the Christian Centre themselves, the all hands on deck approach gives the scrubbed pine benches that little bit of added character and The Brunswick a venture you want to root for.