Goodbye Cafe Neu

Cafe Neu, has closed down. The sign on the front door cites reasons 'beyond their control' for the closure.

We were sitting in Moonbow Jakes at 2.41pm on Friday, making mental notes for a review, when the news came through from an anonymous poster on Brockley Central. There was no answer when we called the enquiry number, but a neighbouring businessman thought the reason was simply money.

The comments in our review section suggest Cafe Neu was providing a decent service, but we confess we'd never got round to trying it. If the problem was a lack of revenue, then it wasn't because of a lack of local people with an appetite for spending money in cafes - Moonbow Jakes was virtually full while we were there, as it always is. But Moonbows is a practically perfect place and we'd guess that Cafe Neu didn't manage to come up with a quite a good enough reason why customers should cross the road.

And, as one reviewer wrote, it can't have been easy being flanked by a collection of old fridges and catering equipment on the pavement from the shop next door. Why that shop is allowed to clutter up the high street in that way, we have no idea.

We wish the Cafe Neu team good luck in the future and hope that another business tries to take on that site soon.

27 comments:

BarCar said...

This week we also lost Bar Equal on Honor Oak Park (along with Visual Eyes video rental and Into The Fuschia florist). All repossessed by Willmotts on Monday following disputes with their landlord. Willmotts, ripping the guts out of your local parade of shops.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to see this one go... but it seemed geared to be an Internet Cafe, a pursuit that many now take up at home, and was too close to Moonbow Jakes to cope.

Good luck to the former owner in what ever undertaking he plans.

However, if people are going to lament Brockley's losses they should at least assist local business by by shopping local.

Anonymous said...

Just seen a shop sign for bagels on the Cross. Maybe it will fare better. At least it doesn't have compete.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - oh yes I've been meaning to mention that bagel place - it's one of Brockley's "limbo shops". They just keep changing the sign, without ever actually opening.

Hugh said...

I'd made a mental note to try Cafe Neu if I ever wanted to spend an afternoon sitting outside a cafe at a busy road junction in the shade.

Anonymous said...

Where's the Bagel shop???

Sue Luxton said...

Very sorry to hear that - that makes 3 empty shops in that row now.

ElijahBailey said...

I always thought it was in bad position.

Since we are on the subject of shops; does any know anything about the CRT tele 'shop' up on Brockley X? It seems like it has been their for donkeys years.

Monkeyboy said...

....yep. And there's always a couple of old boys sat there watching about 20 old tellys at the same time. Nearly as mad as the 'Theatrical Costumiers' a couple of doors down - never seen anyone actually go in there.

Tom said...

That dress shop is very niche! It sells second-hand designer clothes. Very good quality but not cheap at all! Suspect that a lot is done by mail order.

A lot more activity in the second-hand TV/hifi place. Seems to be a hang out for some local gents, just as the hairdresser next door, next door, for their other halves!

Monkeyboy said...

I feel a quirky C4 sitcom comming on. 'The Cross' starring Lenny Henry and that old geezer from East Enders.

Brockley Nick said...

@Sue - do you know if anything can be done to get rid of all those fridges from the pavement?

b. said...

i second that - I live in comerford road and so have to navigate those bloody fridges/ovens any time we go anywhere. its ridiculous.

i ate a cafe neu a couple of times - i found the food very good (albeit slow to be made). bit of a shame really. that whole side of the street needs some sorting out.

Marisa said...

I'll third that too Nick about the fridges.
Before we know it there'll be a fridge graveyard mounting on that pavement!

glenda said...

Here, here to rid the public Right - of - Way of those blimmin' fridges!
b, I also live very close by - Perhaps we could slip in a bit of old, old fish (the really smelly kind) as we sneak past them and then they'll soon disappear?

Sue Luxton said...

Hmmm, yes - will ask town centre manager and environmental enforcement to investigate - he's probably entitled to display his fridges on his forecourt, but not on the pavement. Similar situation to further down on Brockley Rd opposite St Andrews, in that the forecourts are the shop owners' responsibility, not the Council's. Am hopefully meeting with Sarah, the town centre manager soon and will raise this too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sue, that would be great.

nitoda said...

Honor Oak Park closures and Willmotts

I hadn't noticed the florist or the video rental shop - I *had* noticed Bar Equal was closed on Saturday evening and thought it a bit odd.

How does Willmotts get away with it? The shop on the corner opposite Jumping Bean has been empty for a long time now - obviously the rents are not attractive to potential tenants.

The deli seemed to go into limbo for a long time but then come back to life. I don't understand how Willmotts are allowed to treat their tenants in this way.

Anonymous said...

Hi Clement here, yes the reason I closed was down to revenue, not because of fridges or being close to moonbows but the money I was putting into the place and would still have to put into the place couldn't be justified.
I'm not sure if anyone remembers what the place looked like before I took it on but what you saw now took at least 40k out of me.
The other thing is people like to drink and eat and coffee only lasts till 6pm after that people want a beer. If my alcohol licence had come through sooner I'd probably have kept it open.
I started cafe neu in Merton turning over 5 times what I did in Brockley so there are many factors.
The beyond my control bit is the landlord who has been trying to get me out of there since I made his shop rentable.
You should be getting a barber's shop soon.

Sad about Willmotts I know the guy who owned the deli and he spoke about the horrors of their landlord. Like I said before you have to use it or lose it. Bagels won't survive unless you buy the things. It's not enough to say there's a nice new shop opening, you have to go in and buy something.
There's not much that can be done about the fridges, it's private land not right of way.
Anyways once I've had a rest, found a site (and become my own landlord this time) I'll be back.

Brockley Nick said...

hi clement, thanks for letting us know what happened, great to hear you'll be back, please keep us posted about your plans.

Matthew said...

thanks for your efforts clement. I preferred it to moonbows because it was just that bit more peaceful. best of luck with your new ventures

Anonymous said...

Well done and good luck Clement. I will sadly miss your cafe and cringe at the thoughts of it turning into yet another hairdressers. Please come back soon!

Amanda said...

...I never got around to going...so I feel a sense of guilt. I remember that this cafe did try innovative schemes to drive business, such as the loyalty card and they had a pretty good website.

To all local businesses do keep advertising, promoting yourself, hosting events, (ie remind me to visit you and/or give me reasons to visit you). Probably like a lot of people, I have a load of things to consider in a day and remembering to shop local is always top of the list.

Sue Luxton said...

Just to follow up on the request re the fridges - he is, as I thought, perfectly entitled to display his fridges on the forecourt, but not the pavement. I've flagged the issue with the Council enforcement officer and the local Safer Neighbourhood team, who will keep an eye out, but they can only take action if the fridges are blocking the pavement.

On a related note, pleased to see when I walked along there today that the broken fence on the corner of Comerford Road (by the betting shop), which was rapidly becoming a fly-tipping eyesore, has now been replaced and is looking a lot tidier now - that was due to the Council environmenal enforcement officer contacting the owner.

patrick1971 said...

Interesting (and rather galling!) that a second-hand fridge shop can still make money in these days of Freecycle, yet a nice cafe can't. What a shame. Shame also about the alcohol licence. ISTR reading somewhere that Brockely was built by a teetotaller, like much of Catford, hence the lack of pubs. I first got to know Brockley back in 1996 when a friend of mine moved into Braxfield Road (she's still there!), there was absolutely nowhere to get a drink in the area. What is now the Barge was a derelict shell, and Moonbow's wasn't around.

Speaking of Moonbow's, does anyone remember their first branch in New Cross, next to Iceland? I always wondered why it closed, it seemed quite busy. They really should have done in New Cross what they did in Brockley; open late and get an alcohol licence.

Monkeyboy said...

Actually isn't Moonbow's owned by someone else now?

Having said that I've only been there about 5 times in 5 years. I'm in Malpas road and just can't be arsed to walk all that way for a coffee, but it's a good vibe.

It does feel a bit like a Guardian readers cliche though, with all those earnest people tapping away on their lap tops and pretending to read Dostoevsky when they'd rather be reading Harry Potter.

PS - spoken by a Guardian reader who started reading Crime And Punishment but had to stop before he slit his wrists.

PPS- I've NEVER read Harry Potter.

Sue Luxton said...

Discount Appliances sell new fridges as well as second hand ones (and nothing wrong with second-hand!), and I'd rather support them than a chain-store, hence I bought my cooker from them when I moved here 7 years ago and have had no problems with it as yet. He could be a lot more proactive in keeping his backyard tidy though, as well as his forecourt!

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