Pillars of the Community
The Spread Eagle
The East End holds many trailblazing establishments and among them is London’s first 100% vegan pub. In a part of the world known for its inclusivity and innovation, it seems only right that The Spread Eagle should operate as a haven for all lifestyles. All of the food, drinks, fixtures and fittings are plant-based and sourced sustainably where possible, which is music to our ears as brewers of vegan beers. We had the pleasure of talking to the landlady of The Spread Eagle, the delightful Sherri-Lee.
The first of it’s kind in our capital city, The Spread Eagle opened its doors under the ownership of Sherri-Lee and her business partner Luke, in 2017. Since then, the pub has won numerous awards including ‘Most Loved Local Pub’ and ‘Most Loved Local Late-Night Spot in Homerton’ in the TimeOut London Love Awards 2018, and ‘Maverick Of The Year’ in the London Restaurant Awards 2018. Their vision for the business grew from a 20-year friendship and a passion for sustainability. The pair worked together producing stages and running bars at festivals, but began looking for a project without the risk of rain!
Luke was the driving force behind the pub being vegan, and as many of their friends were either vegan or vegetarian, it made sense for them. Sherri-Lee explained that when they decide to do something they ‘go all in’ so having an 100% vegan enterprise was the obvious direction. They wanted to show it was possible for a hospitality business to be fully vegan without compromising on experience or quality, and it is clear they have done that very successfully!
Sherri-Lee and Luke have both lived in East London for over 15 years, and during this time the area has seen huge change. Not only is The Spread Eagle unrecognisable now from back then, but Sherri-Lee reflects that ‘Hackney has seen a huge swing in both demographic and investment in a relatively short time frame. At the moment there still seems to be a fair balance of old and new, with the area retaining some of its original character and charm whilst still feeling modern and regenerated.’
The attraction of The Spread Eagle is by no means confined to vegan clientele. Sherri-Lee shared with us that one of the great things about running an alternative venue is never knowing who might walk through the door! The customer base is eclectic and that’s how the team like it! The pub has a loyal bunch of locals who have been drinking there since before it’s 2017 transformation, and the Homerton community has been very supportive. There is even a WhatsApp group with local pubs and businesses who’ve helped each other out through the Covid pandemic and shared everything from stock to advice. Sherri-Lee mused that ‘It harks back to the heritage tales you hear about the East End- we’re in a great part of the world.’
We asked The Spread Eagle team what other organisations make East London the place it is, and they told us that ‘the variety of businesses, small independent venues and artisan producers make up the rich tapestry of East London’. From vegan pioneers like Made In Hackney and DabbaDrop to drinking dens like The Moth Club, The Dolphin and Dalston Superstore that pull in all sorts of characters. Plus it wouldn’t be the same without its infamous markets like Broadway, Columbia Road and Chatsworth Road.
The Spread Eagle is a truly unique and welcoming venue, whose door are open to everyone. They serve premium liquor, quality beer and the finest food, within the most aesthetically pleasing of settings. All without a single animal being harmed and with minimal impact on the environment. What more could you ask for in a local pub? The team have plans open a new food and wine-focused venture in the future, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this inventive enterprise.
If you would like to show The Spread Eagle some love then you can find them on Instagram and Facebook @thespreadeaglelondon. Subscribe to their mailing list and be the first to hear about events and other exciting news. But of course, the best way to support the team is to visit them at the bar! They can’t wait to welcome you.