The location feels a bit odd. Library Square, a “proper English pub,” is located in… well, Library Square, on the corner of Georgia and Richards. It seems like the last place where you’d find a proper pub, but its exterior is deceptive.
Once inside, there is a lot of space, dark wood, cozy booths upholstered in dark leather. The bar is huge-it goes on and on, and there are big-screen TVs everywhere.
I imagine the joint is jumping when there’s a Canucks game on. On a rainy Saturday morning in early February, though, it was slightly less busy, but that was a good thing, as my brunch companion, Cathy and I easily scored a booth that could have accommodated at least twice as many.
Brunch here is served until 4 pm on the weekends, so if you were out late the night before, they have you covered. In addition, in the “covering” department, there are brunch bevvies including Caesars, mimosas, and a “Breakfast Ale” which contains no ale at all, but rather gin. I especially loved that the bubbles here are local, from Haywire and Okanagan Crush pad (which come out of the same winery just outside of Summerland).
Coffee is from JJ Bean–another sign of their commitment to sourcing and supporting local businesses.
I’m a fan of a sweet starter to my brunch, and Library Square has one of the best: donuts. Full disclosure: I am obsessed with donuts. I won’t get into it here, but I recently took a trip to Portland just to eat donuts there, and I know all the good donut places in the city by heart and palate. My favorite is Cartem‘s, and they are served here. I’m not sure how they do it, as the donut holes (which were massive, more like donut planets) arrived at our table warm and fresh. I assumed they would be made at Cartem’s down on Pender and then transported up the street a few blocks to Library Square, but I suspect that rather, Cartem’s drops off dough, which is then fried to order at Library Square. Whatever. They arrive, plump and warm, at your table, under a coating of cinnamon sugar, and they are awesome.
The brunch menu encompasses both breakfast and lunch options, and there’s a nice mix of savory and sweet. The brunch here skews more heavily towards hangouver cures than it does towards light, fresh fare, but that’s okay. Remember where you are. Tofu has no place in a proper British pub.
You’ve got standards; a Farmer’s Breakfast, a hash, eggs benny, a breakfast sandwich, huevos rancheros. But then there’s also a Bacon and Egg Pizza (pizza for breakfast? Heck, yeah!), a hangover burger, and the unicorn of all brunch dishes: chicken and waffles. There’s a breakfast bowl for those with less appetite, and a banana bread french toast for those with the sweet tooth.
My brunch companion wasn’t super hungry, and plus we had eaten all those donuts, so she opted for the waffles without the chicken. They came with a side of fresh berries and maple syrup.
I also went for something less heavy–but really trendy–the avocado toast. A big slab of sourdough bread, toasted, slathered with avocado, and topped with 2 poached eggs. This came with a side of arugula salad, and it was quite nice, not heavy at all, just what I needed.
Service is great. Coffee and hot water were kept topped up, our server was gracious (and training someone new, to boot) and we saw lots of the manager.
Library Square Public House is part of the Donnelly Group, a local chain that includes The Blackbird, The Lamplighter and more, 18 locations in all.
300 Georgia St
Open for brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am-4pm