Fairway Pub Group, owner of Crossings Pub and Eatery and Practical Henry’s Public House, has one simple goal: “to offer people a place to experience enjoyment.”
Crossings Hyde Park location opened four years ago and has attracted a loyal following of patrons who visit regularly for the food, the drinks, and the fun. Customers enjoy a diverse selection of upmarket pub fare in a warm and homey countryside setting. On a cold, winter day, what could be better than traditional shepherd’s pie, steak & Guinness pot pie, or Crossings best-seller — gourmet meat loaf? A steaming bowl of chicken corn chowder or one of the other daily soup creations, along with a melted brie and house-made strawberry preserve grilled cheese sandwich would also hit the spot. For something a little spicier, patrons might order a side of jalapeno bacon mac and cheese, which pairs well with a cold draught from Crossings’ extensive selection of beers — bottled and on tap.
In addition to the regular menu, which changes annually, customers can choose from four seasonal menus, as well as daily food and drink features. Executive Chef Dan Garlough says, “Most of our food is locally sourced and 95% of our menu is house-made.” While standard menu items are prepared according to specification to ensure a consistent customer experience, Garlough says, “Since most of our dishes are made to order, we have the flexibility to accommodate dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and other special requests.”
Crossings recently introduced Chicken Dinner Tuesdays. For $11.99, customers can savour a quarter-chicken dinner (choice of white or dark meat) with potatoes, gravy, house-made baked beans, fresh coleslaw and a roll. The chickens are brined overnight to produce flavourful, moist cuts. On Sundays, Crossings offers a brunch menu from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and a prime rib dinner after 5:00 p.m. The restaurant also holds regular Whiskey Dinners, at which customers can sample chef’s creations accompanied by a variety of whiskeys. The New Year’s Eve event, featuring an elegant four course meal served with sparkling wine and live entertainment, is also popular.
The commitment to customer enjoyment extends beyond delicious food, friendly service and a cozy atmosphere. On Monday evenings, customers compete for prizes in the Pubstumpers trivia contest, while sharing freshly prepared pub fare such as chicken wings, pulled pork tacos, sweet potato perogies, nachos, and deep dish pizza. Local acoustic artists perform every Saturday from 8:00 p.m. until midnight. In the warmer weather, musicians entertain up to 70 patrons outdoors on one of London’s best patios, which features a well-stocked bar with 30 beers on tap. General Manager Christina McGrath, better known to regulars as Teeny, attributes much of Crossings’ success to the staff. “We’re like a family,” she says. “And we extend that to our customers. It’s all about making people feel welcome. We want to make sure everyone leaves happy.”
Crossings in Lambeth opened its doors in fall 2014 and offers customers the same quality menu, extensive beer, wine and cocktail list, and fun events as the Hyde Park location. The new restaurant also has a wonderful patio customers can look forward to enjoying in the months to come. Both Crossings locations, being neighbourhood pubs, embrace community involvement by sponsoring youth sports teams and running events throughout the year to benefit local charities like the Thames Valley Children’s Centre. Patrons wishing to support local charities while enjoying food, beverages and fun can attend the annual Beerfest at the Hyde Park location’s patio, meet local brewers and beer reps, and sample from over 70 different beers. The Wine and Scotch event is another such perennial favourite; guests roam from station to station on the upper floor of the Hyde Park location, sampling foods that are expertly paired with a wide selection of wines and scotches.
The Hyde Park venue is also available for private events. With separate rooms on the main and upper floors, Crossings can accommodate small parties, or groups of up to 100 guests. McGrath says, “We host holiday parties, receptions and even weddings. Groups can use the entire second floor where we will set up a private bar and food stations with our chef-created hors d’hoeuvres.” Crossings also offers flexible set-priced menus.
Whether you’re looking for comfort food and a cold pint, a mouth-watering burger and fresh-cut fries, an elegant seafood linguine with fine wine, or fun and games over cocktails, music and pub fare — on your own or with a large group — Crossings offers a welcoming, homey environment for everyone.
Crossings Pub and Eatery
Hyde Park: 1269 Hyde Park Road, London
Lambeth: 2300 Wharncliffe Rd. S., London
Sunday–Thursday: 11 am–11 pm
Friday–Saturday: 11 am–1 am
Fairway Pub Group is rebranding Maxwell McCoy’s & Crave at Richmond/Fanshawe Park Road as Practical Henry’s Public House and renovating the premises. The new menu will be introduced in the spring.