Brisbane restaurateurs Tom Sanceau and Bonnie Shearston have sold their West End gastropub, London Fields.
The sale was finalised yesterday, with Glenn and Martin Voss of Red Brick Hotel in Woolloongabba buying the venue. A representative of the new owners has told Broadsheet that the Voss brothers plan to continue running the venue in its current incarnation — a slick, modern twist on the traditional British public house.
The move comes after Sanceau and Shearston sold their award-winning fine diner Public earlier this year to an overseas investor. “With London Fields, we decided to let managers run the business,” Sanceau says. “And for Bonnie and I, we’ve realised that we’re very hands-on operators.”
For now, the prolific duo will be concentrating on their enormously successful Red Hook and Coppa Spuntino eateries in the CBD – “it’s a little rest,” Sanceau laughs – while workshopping new projects. “We’ve got a couple of secrets we’re working on. There are a lot of very interesting [building] developments happening around Brisbane at the moment,” he continues. “Developers are crying out for cafes, bars and restaurants.”
Sanceau says he and Shearston want to take everything they’ve learned from Public – and London Fields, to a smaller extent – and feed it into a new venue. But he also reckons the Brisbane dining scene is changing rapidly, both with the pace of development around the city and the advent of delivery services such as UberEATS and Deliveroo.
“We want to keep moving forward and continue to do interesting and creative things for Brisbane,” Sanceau says. “But we’re not going to rush into anything. We opened three businesses in the space of a year or a year-and-a-half. That was intense.”