The Royal Pug

If you are looking for welcoming and friendly, The Royal Pug hits the spot!

One of three Pug Pubs, it may be situated in the centre of Leamington Spa, but it remains true to the vision of owners Matt Crowther and Nigel Pinegar. It is undoubtedly a neighbourhood pub at the heart of the local community, offering well kept, locally brewed beers and simple food cooked well.

We sat down with Graham Hunter General Manager, and Matt Crowther Co-owner, for a chat, and it quickly becomes obvious why Pug Pubs have been so successful. Conversation flows easily because they are approachable, open and friendly – traits clearly reflected by all the staff and the overall ambience of The Royal Pug.

 

inside The Royal Pug
Lunch at The Royal Pub

 

What inspired you to set up Pug Pubs?

Matt:
The lack of a casual pub in relaxed surroundings with a quality food and drink offer – and of course, my pug Henri!

What are your principles when it comes to what food and drink to serve?

Matt:
Keep it as simple as possible. Always serve good stuff and make sure it’s accessible to all. We have a huge range of drinks, from entry level items to premium special occasion products – something for everyone.

Graham:
Not to alienate anyone and have offerings for everyone. We also pride ourselves on a cracking Sunday Roast with decent portions – proper roasties, and proper Yorkies!

What makes a Pug Pub different?

Matt:
We open at 9am for coffees & breakfast. We stay open all day and are the hub of our local communities. We hold ‘knit & natter’ mornings; poker mornings; vintage swap shops; speed dating nights; live music nights; open mic nights; and art and wine sessions. We have simply taken the traditional values of the British Pub and made them current.

Graham:
Yes, flexibility is key. Some days we can have kids’ pizza parties in the afternoon and then after a quick change around, it’s back to being a Gin Palace for the evening session!

How do you stay ahead of the game?

Matt:
We always look at what we can do better, and at what our guests would like to see. We have recently expanded our craft beer range for example and got a lot more serious about coffee.

Graham:
It’s really important that we have something different to offer customers in Leamington. There are lots of chain pubs in town so there’s absolutely no point in being the same. Obviously, we go out a lot for market research purposes, but we go all over the UK to make sure that we know what’s new and now and bring it back to The Pug.

Is there anything exciting in store for Pug Pubs this year that you can share with us?

Matt:
We are on tour. No, really, we are! We have a 1960s caravan, which has been remodelled into a mobile bar and has recently been out and about at food festivals, weddings, and events. We are looking forward to getting out to a lot more events this summer so look out for us!