Tuesday11:00 am – 10:30 pm.
Wednesday11:00 am – 10:30 pm.
Thursday11:00 am – 10:30 pm.
Friday11:00 am – 10:30 pm.
Saturday9:00 am – 11:00 pm.
Sunday9:00 am – 11:00 pm.
17 West Belt, Lincoln
You’d be forgiven for not having thought of Lincoln as a culinary destination up until now, but the opening of The Laboratory, anchored firmly in the heart of the rural township, has changed Lincoln’s hospitality game for the better. It’s a restaurant slash café slash bar that is certain to become an institution.
Owned and operated by the good people who used to run The Twisted Hop, Martin and Lisa describe themselves and the ‘scientists’ at their new laboratory as craft brewers and culinary chemists. In a large old brick building which they built out of recycled materials (it’s hard to miss), The Laboratory offers an excellent range of craft beer, wood fired pizzas and tapas-style plates that are designed to be shared. In the weekends they have a brunch menu featuring eggs benedict (with spinach & salmon or bacon), French toast with poached pear and maple syrup and The Big Breakfast. There’s an impressive array of beer on tap and sold by the bottle from the designated bar area, and with plans for the Laboratory’s own brewery to soon be commissioned on site, the craft beer offerings out this way will only continue to get better.
Though The Laboratory’s food and drink offerings are rather decent enough, the venue’s décor is something to behold. The large space features stripped back brick walls, high-beamed ceilings and plenty of beautiful old wood. A roaring fire sits pride of place in the restaurant’s centre and outside in the courtyard there’s a fire for cooler nights too. The Laboratory is an eclectic mix of mismatched old furniture, kitsch Royal Doutlon wash basins, lamps and knick knacks and there’s plenty to remind you of your schooldays spent in the science lab too: Bunsen burners hold table numbers, flasks carry beer and water and beakers are used for drinking vessels. “The Classroom” is available for hire for functions and there’s an upstairs loft area set aside for larger groups too. There isn’t a detail that is missed.
A place with plenty of character and bucketfuls of charm, The Laboratory is well worth the drive from the city. After all, it’s ambitious and adaptive venues grounded in strong values and the community like these that a city can never have enough of.
Words by Tahlia Vogel & Photography by Naomi Haussmann
17 West Belt, Lincoln