Skip to main content
26th October 2023

Britain’s oldest brewer is helped by not one but two boxers to reopen its West End pub, the Tom Cribb, after a show-stopping transformation

There was some friendly sparring behind the bar as independent family brewer and pub company Shepherd Neame’s newly refurbished West End pub the Tom Cribb was officially reopened last night (Tuesday, October 24).

Situated just off Leicester Square, the pub is named after bare-knuckle boxer Tom Cribb, who became a world champion and ran the pub when he retired from the sport, has undergone an £800,000 transformation.

The 18th century pub, which has boxing memorabilia displayed on its walls and a new function room named after Cribb’s great boxing rival Bill Richmond, kept its heritage alive with former WBA world champion boxer Barry McGuigan officially declaring the pub open to great cheers.

He was joined behind the bar by Chief Executive Jonathan Neame and up and coming professional boxer Alex Branson-Cole, who pulled no punches as he pulled the first pint. Both boxers live near Faversham in Kent, where Shepherd Neame’s brewery is based.

Barry, known as the ‘Clones Cyclone’, and former President of the Professional Boxing Association, said: “I was delighted to be invited to join the team for the opening of this unique pub. It is very special now and always was, as far back as the 1800s, as Tom Cribb was one of the greatest fighters this country has ever produced. The pub is looking great and it was fantastic to see all the boxing memorabilia on show – including a photo from one of my own fights!”

Professional boxer Alex Branson-Cole is the first professional boxer from Faversham in more than 60 years. Jonathan Neame presented him with £1,500 on the night to mark the start of a new sponsorship agreement.

Alex, 30, who made his professional debut last year as a middleweight, said: “I grew up and still live in Faversham, so it is extremely special to have Shepherd Neame joining me on this journey. The brewery has a long history within the town and a great reputation – the positive impact it has on the town is incredible. I hope to add to that and inspire the younger generation. I’m excited for what the future holds.”

He added: “The Tom Cribb looks fantastic, and it is great to see all the boxing memorabilia on show. I’m really excited to begin this new partnership with Shepherd Neame and would like to thank Jonathan Neame and the team for their support.”

Situated on Panton Street, the attractive building with a Victorian façade has been lovingly restored to bring it up to date for 21st century city drinkers, giving it a London-club inspired feel, while retaining its unique features and memorabilia.

Internal improvements include a renovation of the bar and layout change to create a more open plan ground floor space. There is also a new dining and function room upstairs, the Richmond Room, and customers can choose from a delicious new menu of classic pub dishes and bar snacks.

Jonathan Neame said: “It has been a labour of love for us at Shepherd Neame to conserve and restore this well-loved London pub to such a high standard. We were delighted to welcome boxing legend Barry, and up and coming boxing star Alex from our home town of Faversham to officially open the pub, helping to keep its unique boxing heritage alive.

“We are incredibly proud of the pub’s new look and offer, which is already proving popular with customers, and we look forward to welcoming many more through the doors.”

You can find the Tom Cribb at 36 Panton Street, London, SW1Y 4EA, call 0207 839 3801 or visit


About Shepherd Neame

Shepherd Neame has been based in the market town of Faversham, Kent for over 300 years. Perhaps best known for great British classic ales such as Spitfire Amber, which carries the Royal Warrant, its diverse portfolio includes Five Grain Lager, Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale and Bear Island Triple Hopped Lager, and the Whitstable Bay Collection. It also brews international lagers under licence including premium Thai lager Singha. The independent family business boasts an award-winning visitor centre and more than 300 pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, from the historic heart of the City to the Kent coastline.

Shepherd Neame is not responsible for the content on third party websites.

For further information please contact Senior Communications Officer Angela Cole on 01795 542142 or email or visit

Third-party news items that are posted on the Guild website’s news section come from press releases received by the Guild. These press releases are posted as they have been received and their publication on the Guild website is intended as an informational service provided to our members and website visitors. As such, the publication of a story from a third-party source is neither an endorsement of the content, nor its sender, by the Guild. For enquiries on any news item, please use the contact details that can be found at the bottom of each post.