I’m a great lover of no-frills, working-class pubs. They’re what I grew up with and frequented when I first started drinking. Indeed I still give them my custom and can often be found at the Little Russell in Barton Hill, Bristol (posts passim).

One worrying development in recent years is the rise of the ‘gastropub‘.


The Eagle, Clerkenwell, London, reputed to be the first victim of gastration. Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The term gastropub is a portmanteau of gastronomy and pub, and originated in the United Kingdom in the late 20th century. The establishment itself is defined as ‘a bar and restaurant that serves high-end beer and food‘.

My Bristol Wireless colleague Rich has devised the verb ‘to gastrate‘ to describe the phenomenon of converting boozers to gastropubs. I would define the verb as follows:

gastrate (v.) – to ruin a perfectly good pub by converting it to sell small, overpriced portions of food.

See also: gastration (n).

The process of gastration is also being actively encouraged by the media, as shown in a piece last week on the Bristol Post website.

Will traditional drinkers soon be struggling to find traditional boozers if this trend continues?