Balls Brothers have been looking after London since 1860 and we plan to continue to do so. In order to succeed we have pressed „refresh“, refurbished and expanded – the great expansion of 2016. It will remain in our history as an important year – a milestone in the history of Balls Brothers. 2017 follows as equally important – the future looks bright!
Our values are the key to everything. Our heritage is behind every decision we make and quality comes first. This all goes back to 1860, when our founding father, Henry Balls, purchased the first Balls Brothers site, The Old George public house in Bethnal Green Road.
Over time, it became more well-known in the area due to the quality of its ports and sherries. Henry’s sons, Austin and Harry, expanded and supported the business with a number of speciality shops, shipping directly from producers in Oporto and Jerez. Around 1875, Austin Balls’ “Quality first” motto, first appeared on his price list, a saying that holds as true today as it did then. Their operations soon began trading under the name Balls Brothers.
1918 After Harry Balls retired, his son Burgess took over management of the wholesale business. This came during a time of upheaval for London with the end of the Great War, the first election where women were given the right to vote and a major flu outbreak throughout the city. In 1960, Balls Brothers as we currently know it came into existence, with Carey Lane opening followed shortly after by Threadneedle Street. As the wine bars grew in reputation, the twelve shops were sold to allow for a major expansion of the company, which started opening restaurants to sit alongside its wine bars.
1988, The original “legend in his own lunchtime”, Timothy Parfitt, joins the company – the beginning of a long and illustrious career with us, taking in virtually every bar and restaurant we have ever operated. He can currently be found looking after the great and the good in Gow’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar, along with David, his curiously moustachioed, though undeniably talented, Head Chef, who joined us back in 2004.
2011 – A sizeable and continued investment from new owners enabled some of the bars to be brought up-to-date in order to continue to appeal to an ever-changing City clientelle.
2013 – With a full menu rebrand, a new website and increased investment in the wine and champagne offer, the future is looking brighter than at any time in our long and proud history. Planning starts – expansion ahead.
2017 – refurbishment of Balls Brothers Mayfair completed in May 2017. Next up – the most iconic old Balls Brothers Mark Lane! Mark Lane made a comeback as newer and improved Balls Brothers at the end of June.
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