It’s been just over a year since chef-owner Bill Griffiths and his wife and co-owner, Christina Fugitt-Griffiths, opened the new location of Farmers Gastropub in Springfield, Missouri, but you would think the authentic British pub dates back much further – which was exactly their intention when designing the space with interior designer Jeanne Waters-Hill. While the six-person kitchen creates made-from-scratch, farm-to-table British staples, the pub’s cozy dining room features warm reclaimed wood accents, low lighting and a working fireplace.
The experience is meant to transport you to another part of the world – the one where Griffiths grew up, in Lancashire, England, before moving to his wife’s hometown of Springfield in 2004. Griffiths’ British upbringing and Welsh heritage can be seen lining the walls, with squares of tartan, coats of arms and photos of English landmarks and folklore. “People can really sense the story and history when they walk in here, ” he says.
“I love to tell those sitting in the custom-built snug its history – no British pub is without one. The landed gentry in the U.K. would stay at inns while everyone else had to walk, which led to people warming themselves at the neighboring public house with British mead, ale and cider. The gentry only had French wine and brandy at their inns, so they wanted to taste the pub offerings without having to deal with the ‘riff-raff.’ The enclosed booth was somewhere ‘snug’ they could drink in private. Later in history, ladies would dine in the snug to avoid tobacco smoke.” – Bill Griffiths
“Family history is important. People get caught up in buying commercial products when decorating, but it’s so much more fun if your décor has a story to tell – maybe you reupholstered Grandma’s favorite chair or just simply incorporate heirlooms and photos. It’s fantastic when a restaurant has such a strong history to pull from. The cozy warmth and Bill’s story were my inspirations when designing the new location.” –Jeanne Waters-Hill, interior designer, Touche Design Group
“The casement around the doors and wainscoting all use reclaimed wood – there’s even a recycled barn door that sections off part of the dining room. All the wood came from an abandoned textile mill in China Grove, North Carolina, built in 1875, and it feels like it when you walk in. Reclaimed wood is a perfect way to give a [restaurant or] home history, warmth, charm and character.” –Jason Hill, partner, Cross Creek Architectural ArtifactsSee also:
- Typical old English pubs are famous for their problems with mobile phone coverage caused by the mobile signal being unable to penetrate the often thick stones walls.