Now Open: The Rose & Crown Is South Bank's New London-Inspired Pub That's Taken Over Little Big House's Old Digs

The British-themed Grey Street gastropub serves up cask beer, scotch eggs, homemade steak and ale pies, and roast dinners every Sunday.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 04, 2024

One of Brisbane's historic sites is enjoying a new life. Since 1889, the building at 271 Grey Street in South Brisbane has been a police station, a squatter's den and a Spaghetti House, as well as a Ship Inn and, most recently, Little Big House. In its new guise, the two-level Queenslander remains a watering hole. It's still benefiting from the significant spruce up that the building received as Little Big House, in fact. But head by now for a drink, a bite or to while away an afternoon doing both and you'll be hitting up a London-inspired gastropub.

Alex Derrick has taken over the heritage-listed spot, renamed it The Rose & Crown and gleaned inspiration from more than two decades spent in Britain — including working in pubs, and winning awards for doing so.

"I fell in love with two things in the UK: the great British pub and my wife Bella," he advises. "So much so, I changed my plans for a career in medicine and started operating some of the first gastropubs in London. These were pubs that really took food seriously, using the best available seasonal ingredients and producing a small but ever-changing menu."

"At the time this was a revelation," Derrick continues. "The secret was keeping the informal atmosphere of a local pub, not trying to be fancy or pretentious but blowing customer expectations out of the water with restaurant-quality food."

Gastropubs may no longer be new; however, Derrick's addition to Brisbane's pub scene upon his return to Queensland still takes the idea seriously. He calls The Rose & Crown "a place you can feel at home in, whether you are looking for a three-course freshly cooked meal or a spontaneous pint with a mate".

"I really want to recreate the famous feel of a good British pub where regulars love bringing friends to their local and staying up later than they should, having a ball — a true home away from home."

Drop in for a drink and you can get a brew of cask beer, with The Rose & Crown the only place in Queensland pouring it straight from the cask. In digs decked out by the aforementioned Bella Derrick, an interior stylist — complete with nods to the UK, of course, and a new three-metre olive tree taking pride of place in the garden — you can also sip your way through the 40-selection wine list, which includes pudding wine. Or, there's the pub's house lager, a heap of other beers on tap and by the bottle, two types of spritzes, and classic cocktails such as margaritas and gimlets.

The food menu owes a debt to Britain, naturally, with Head Chef Kevin Honeywood also experienced working in the UK. Expect to tuck into scotch eggs, homemade steak and ale pies, pork scratchings, grilled sardine and tomato tarts, beer-battered fish with mushy peas, and Cumberland sausages with mashed potato and onion gravy.

Every Sunday, roast dinners are available all day — in beef, chicken and nut varieties, complete with Yorkshire puddings — while dessert options span sticky date pudding and treacle tart.


Open since the end of February, The Rose & Crown also hosts a weekly pub quiz. Prefer belting out a tune instead (whether or not it is by a British artist)? Make a date with the karaoke room.

Screens around the place show sport, while live music is on the bill. Also, soaking in a London vibe here comes far cheaper than an airfare to the other side of the world.

Find The Rose & Crown at 271 Grey Street, South Brisbane — open from 11am–10pm Monday–Wednesday, 11am–12am Thursday–Saturday and 11am–9pm Sunday. Head to the venue's website for more details.

Images: Axis Productions.

Published on April 04, 2024 by Sarah Ward
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x