Our relationship with Streatham’s excellent Hood Restaurant goes back 3 years, to when we first teamed up for an epic Chef’s Table style food & beer pairing at our Clapham Junction store. That said, co-owner Robin, who we’re profiling today, had been frequenting our Balham store for a while before that, given that he’s a mahousive beer fan. We love the ethos at Hood – it’s all fresh, seasonal and as local as possible. They’re also one of the few restaurants to put as much effort into their beer list as their wine list so this gives them a special place in our hearts. We caught up with Robin recently to find out a bit more about him and Hood.
Robin Hood Restaurant
1. What’s your name and job title?

Robin Frean, Co-Owner and Restaurant Manager (amongst many other unofficial titles!)

2. Could we have your elevator pitch?

We are a small independent restaurant in Streatham Hill serving our local community with high quality modern British cuisine in a classic bistro style. Alongside our great food, relaxed atmosphere and service we serve great craft beer from around the UK and great wines from around the world with a particular focus on English wine and provenance.

3. What is the potted history of Hood?

We hatched the idea in early 2014, found our site (a former curry house) soon after, signed our lease in October 2014 and spent 4 months gutting and rebuilding the place to open the doors only 3 days behind schedule in February 2015. I run the restaurant day to day with my business partner sister, Melanie who works part time for Hood and looks after finance and other corporate style affairs. Our head chef Mike Brown has been with us since the beginning and is also a partner in the business and is in charge of all our kitchen operations.

4. Why is it called Hood?

We were inspired to create a neighbourhood style eatery from time spent in New York where these style of restaurant are abundant.  We also then used a more American styled slang of neighbourhood, ‘Hood’ as our name with a nod to both New York influence and Streatham with its eternally ‘up and coming’ reputation. The fact my name is Robin is purely a delightful coincidence.
5. Which is the favourite beer you sell and why?

I have pretty much been through every style going in the last few years and we offer a wide range here from our fridges. It’s hard to pick one but I am a Pale ale or West Coast IPA fan for everyday drinking and we rotate them a lot here but from our current list I have to go fellow Streatham Boys Inkspot for the their 556 IPA. The new brewery is up and running and the beer being produced is better than ever.

6. Share with us your favourite fact, stat or quote…

At our peak I think I listed 32 different beers at the restaurant (June 2016), not sure many other restaurant were so diverse with their range or got carried away as much as we did!

7. What makes you most proud to run Hood?

We are in complete control of what we deliver to our valued customers, no higher power telling us to cook this or that, no tie telling us to sell macro lager or average ale. We put everything we have into our independent nature and ability to create something unique in Streatham Hill. Thankfully, most of the reviews we have received over various formats have been favourable and reflected our efforts.

8. Picture this: You are moving to a desert island but they only stock one kind of beer per resident – what would you choose and why?

As its hot and sunny its a toss up between a pilsner and a sour. I love sours but all day everyday with nothing else my stomach might not thank me so a perhaps Kolsch would be the way forward

9. If a film were made about Hood, what would be the theme tune?

I’m sure we could pull in Hans Zimmer for an original score.

10. Do you have anything to add?

We are 4 years young and still evolving and defining what and who we are, if you have not tried us before or are long overdue a return visit come and be part of our memorable journey.

Thanks Robin!

You can find Hood at:

67 Streatham Hill, London SW2 4TX


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