New gastro-pub for Brockley

Punch Taverns have submitted plans to Lewisham Council to enable them to convert The Talbot on Tyrwhitt Road in to a pub and restaurant.

Currently a place which can make you feel like you're walking in to a fight when you go through the front door even though there's never anyone else in there, The Talbot is an obvious candidate for investment and Punch have clearly recognised that the Conservation area is crying out for a pub that doesn't require bars on the windows.

Punch are the largest pub chain in the UK and specialise in running pubs with a 'traditional' or local feel. The plans include a refurbishment of both the interior and the exterior, including the pavement area.

Exactly when all this is due to happen is not clear and the bar staff are still in the dark. If anyone knows anything about the timings, please let me know.

17 comments:

Andrew Brown said...

Now this is good news for those of us at that end of Brockley!

Strangely, I mentioned The Talbot to the guy who owns the Dartmouth Arms as a place he might want to try and buy when he talked about expanding a year or so ago.

Brockley Nick said...

Agreed! Hopefully this might encourage the other pubs in the area (particularly the Wickham Arms) to raise their game a bit, if it can be shown that there's an demand for a local pub culture to match the appetite for coffee shops.

ElijahBailey said...

I don't know the pub in question but gastro-pubs aren't necessarilly a good thing. Just look at East Dulwich; not a decent, un-pretentious boozer left.

Despite being in Brockley Cross I count my local as the Marquis up in New Cross. Now that is my idea of a cracking local pub.

Brockley Nick said...

I agree, not always a good thing. But if you ever the opportunity to visit The Talbot, I think you'll find "unpretentious" doesn't really do it justice.

ElijahBailey said...

Hehe well I will make a note to walk past it later when I am coming back from Lewisham and give a report.

Andrew Brown said...

This came up in conversation yesterday at the kids football up on Hilly Fields.

Someone I was talking to said they'd tried to get a drink at the Talbot the other day and got told (by the barman) they don't like the police in that pub. As the guy isn't in the police he thought that was a bit funny.

The sooner the change comes the better.

Brockley Nick said...

Andrew, I think they simply don't like people (whether in police uniforms or not) very much in that pub.

I've no idea whether the exisiting management will remain in place after the work's been done, but, if so, they will need considerable "re-training" on customer service.

It's in such a nice spot but it casts a brooding presence over the whole area at the moment...

Anonymous said...

It may sound good, but it's lamentable that Punch Taverns are behind it. Crap food delivered in big vans from Brake Brothers once a week, fried onion rings and big brewery ethics. Great... really hope it's not like that, but sadly I've worked for a big brewery before and have not a shred of confidence in Punch doing this the right way.

Brockley Nick said...

Hmm, yes I was a bit worried by Punch, but they are so big and have such a range of pubs, that I think it's too early to judge what kind of place we'll end up with. To be honest, even if it's just a nice place to get a beer, it would be a drastic improvement.

bob said...

Much as I like gastropubs, I think this is a bit sad. Gastropubs are not places you meet people you didn't know. They are designed for particular types of people (middle class white folks with enough disposable income to pay top dollar for their food) to socialise with people just like them.

Whereas The Talbot was a great example of a real British local: people from all walks of life drank there, and spoke to each other, found common ground.

I've had interesting conversations there with all sorts of people - an eccentric inventor, an amateur ethnomusicologist, at least one published poet.

George Orwell wouldn't be pleased.

Brockley Nick said...

Hi Bob

Great to hear from Brockley's most celebrated blogger. Thanks for your comment. You've obviously seen a different side of the Talbot to me and I'm willing to believe that is has more charm than I'm giving it credit for, but on the two occasions I've been in, it really hasn't seemed like a favoured haunt of poets or ethnomusicologists.

Anonymous said...

And leave the Wickham Arms alone. As much as I like going to the Jam Circus occasionally and now the refurbished Honor Oak, its also nice to go to an old fashioned boozer, which is unpretentious and has great music by local bands on. Its all about having a choice.

Brockley Nick said...

I gave the Wickham Arms credit for its music nights (which are great) in an earlier article. I think it's an OK pub, it just could be a lot better. I'll concede that I probably have a thoroughly unlikeable face, but it would be nice if it felt a bit more welcoming in there.

It's in a lovely spot, it's a handsome pub and it ought to be the Queen Vic / Rovers Return of that part of Brockley, but it isn't at the moment.

Hugh said...

It may deserve a separate thread but does anyone know anything about the derelict house on the corner of Lewisham Way/Tywhitt Road opposite the Talbot pub?

The Brockley Society once said they were investigating who owned the place but for those who don't have 20 years to wait, it may be that a quicker answer can be obtained through other channels.

An old woman lives inside or at least did until recently. I've noticed in the last two weeks that wooden boards have been placed across the front door - I don't know whether by the inhabitant or someone else.

And while we're on the topic, anyone know whether whoever owns the once-grand detached villa a couple of doors up from the Talbot is ever going to give the place a makeover? It would help if s/he just stopped using the front garden as a sanctuary for common weeds and discarded junk, but with a lick of paint the house would really improve the tone at that end of the street.

If we were Americans I think we'd volunteer to do it ourselves...

kirstymcc said...

I really really hope whoever is planning on running the Talbot for Punch is mindful of what locals need! I'd love a decent pub round here - nice, warm atmosphere, comfy sofas, good quality food - it doesn't cost much to add a lick of paint, a few cool furnishings and a slick menu! Come on! Does anyone know who will be running it? It doesn't currently look like the sort of place I'd set foot in.

lee newham said...

I think we could do with ONE gastro pub. But I agree, we dont want them ALL t be like that. Personally id like a choice. A decent gastro pub, a decent family run pub where they cut homemade steak and ale pie in a tray with a fishslice and put the thick shortcrust pastry that has soaked up the gravey on your plate along with green peace and thick homecut chips and maybe a samuel smiths pub. And to cap it all, how about a small microbrewery.

I'd like the choice.

I guess you cant have it all.

In defence of the Wickham arms, I find it friendly in there and they have pool. It feels real.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in Brockley for 16 years and have just discovered this site! In response to Hugh the derelict house at the corner of Lewisham way and Tyrwhitt Road and the once grand villa have the same owner. The story of the old woman is that her parents used to own the row of shops and when sold were left the use of the flat she "lived" in. She is a very well educated woman and speaks fluent French accent and all. She always rejected any attempt by the social services to relocate her until recently when the police was involved. I don't lnow how she survived there without any of the basic facilities we take for granted. She comes back and hang around from time to time. The shop used to be a greengrocer and the tiles on the facade (now gone) use to attract photographers looking for the genuine set up for adverts. Hope this help. Francoise

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