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If you’re a local at The Brit Sports Pub & Patio, there’s a chance you may have hoisted a pint or two with the new owners, Mandeep and Jasbir Singh, without even knowing it.
Tech engineers, they were regulars who followed their passion and bought the English-themed sports bar on July 15. The pub won runner up for Best British Pub in the Metro San Jose Best of 2022 contest.
“It’s a combination of pub and sports bar,” Singh said when asked to describe The Brit. “People come to eat and drink and have fun and enjoy fine dining. They come to watch sports, for the ambiance, the beer and spirits selection and the low prices. We cater to every genre.”
Since the takeover, the pub has been elevated to higher sports-pub status. What can sport fans and pub lovers expect? A bank of 25 TVs–there are three more coming as a shaded patio renovation takes shape and debuts in January 2023–that can show 10 to 15 kinds of competitions at once. Fans can watch hockey, baseball, the Grand Prix, basketball, boxing matches, prize fights and golf, plus American football and soccer–or just about any other sport imaginable.
Currently, the leading attraction may be the coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2022 from Qatar, with The Brit opening at 7 a.m. on game days to serve British and other breakfast items until noon. Irish bacon, black pudding, bangers, an omelet or side of imported meats, anyone?
The Brit strives, Singh said, to be a cost-conscious, fun place for everyone with its own take on what a British pub in Silicon Valley ought to be.
“We have everything,” he said. “We want to be a place for people to come in and have fun, for all genres. We want to be a place where customers come in and don’t have to think about high prices.”
If you’re hungry, The Brit has you covered with mouth-watering creations. The traditional British dishes include London Pride beer-battered fish and chips, shepherd’s pie made with ground lamb, bangers and mash with gravy, grilled chicken tikka with rice and salad and sticky toffee pudding and the Bazooka (a warm chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream) for dessert. Customers will also find good bar-food favorites, from burgers, chicken sandwiches and chicken wings to nachos, sliders, chicken strips and even mac ’n’ cheese and Brussels sprouts. Soups and salads round out the menu.
Some menu standouts are the curry dishes, such as the exotic red curry (chicken on paneer), and the five specialty pizzas: cheese, pepperoni, curry veggies, chicken tikka and the supreme. The pizzas are personal-size pies, measuring 10 to 12 inches, so one is enough for a full meal or a snack to share. The base is house-made dough, and pie-lovers get to pick from three sauces: traditional, red curry or a garlic white.
The Brit keeps vegetarians in mind, too, and introduced a California veggie burger that’s popular with vegetarians who can’t get enough of the patty made of zucchini, potatoes, peas and carrots.
“The customers love it,” Singh said, adding there also is fish and chips for vegetarians, using a Soya fishless filet.
The new Brit brought back happy hour, from 3-7 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding days with an event at SAP Center) and rolled back drink prices overall, Singh said. He suggested the daily duration of The Brit’s happy hour could be the longest in the South Bay. The Brit’s full bar stays open late (until 2 a.m.) on Fridays and Saturdays. (The Brit does not deliver but does offer carry out.)
A happy hour food menu (excluding events) lets people snack with their beverages at three price points: $6 for Brit pub chips, tater tots, skinny fries, seasoned curly fries or house-made tortilla chips; $7 for onion rings or sweet potato fries; and $10 for Brit nachos, animal-style curry fries or a giant Bavarian pretzel. Most beers go for $6 for happy hour; otherwise, they are usually $8.50.
Beer lovers will cheer the 16 beers on tap from the likes of London, Ireland, Scotland and the San Francisco Bay Area, including London Pride, Guinness, Four Peaks Kilt Lifter, Drake’s Brewing Company and the Russian River Brewing Company and more. A pint-pour equals 25 ounces in a beer mug. Craft beers abound, too, with fruity Elysian Space Dust, hoppy Lagunitas IPA, fresh Canadian Molson, sunny Stone Dayfall Witbier and others. Don’t overlook the usual suspects of canned and bottled brews from Budweiser, Coors and Corona to Miller High Life and Michelob Ultra and other recognizable brands.
For wine connoisseurs, the Brit delivers varietals by the glass and bottle, pouring Chalk Hill chardonnay, Tribute cabernet, Erath pinot noir, Justin cabernet, Prisoner Red Blend, Prisoner Unshackled chardonnay, Bernardus sauvignon blanc, Coppola pinot grigio and Whisper Angel rose. Plus, The Brit uncorks bubbly by the bottle from Freixenet.
Among the most popular drink specials are a Modelo or Bud Light pint and a Jameson shot for $12 every day. The Brit does pour extremely high-dollar tequilas(Clase Azul), bourbons and whiskeys, so don’t get the idea it’s only about budget shots and brews. San Jose Sharks fans like the “Sharkaritas,” margaritas named for the team that plays next door. The drink is blue, its hue seemingly lifted straight from a Sharks jersey. The Brit’s other specialty drinks–Tamarind Sour, Old Fashioned Brit, Old Cuban, Between the Sheets, Strawberry Fields,The Lilikoi, Tommy’s Margarita, Peach Daisy and CMG Smash–are sure to tempt the most discerning imbiber’s taste buds.
Not everything is new about The Brit. Singh noted that all existing staff members, about 30, from the prior ownership were kept on the payroll. The decor still features a mix of the familiar high-top table and chairs, low-top tables and chairs, and bar and barstool seating. The brick walls are adorned with tons of framed sports jerseys amid large-screen TVs, and the wall-papered walls above the booths add a little clubby distinction–and individual TVs tableside.
For those looking for a space to hold a holiday party, special event, sports-watching event or an after-work happy hour, The Brit can book a crowd of about 125 on the patio, perfect for those people who might want a little privacy. The Brit schedules trivia nights and DJs, too, for you and your mates to enjoy a bit of pubby community.
For the record, the new owners are big San Francisco 49ers fans and have held season passes for five years running, watching the team play at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Maybe you’ll see them there.
The Brit Sports Pub & Patio, open 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. for NFL Sundays, otherwise 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., 173 W. Santa Clara St., DTSJ (by San Pedro Square), 408-278-1400, TheBritSJ.com.