Moonbow Jakes, Brockley Road

A coffee shop, which is practically perfect in every way, except perhaps, for the coffee itself. Plenty of people moan about the quality of the coffee but that is to miss the point of Moonbows.

A chair or table to suit every mood and purpose. Friendly, efficient staff. Pitch-perfect decor and choice of music and loads of live events. It works just as well on a Friday night as it does on a Sunday morning.

The menu's simplicity is a strength, rather than a weakness. From tasty Mediterranean platters to crumbly/moist cookies, it's reliably good stuff.

The back garden appears to be a bit of an afterthought and it would be nice to see it get a makeover under its new owners.

Always busy although rarely overflowing - it has been setting the pace in Brockley for many years and its ongoing success proves that there is plenty of demand for good quality local venues.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Moonbows will have a change of ownership soon and many are wondering how the place will change.

The style of the place and its laid back, chilled out atmosphere is pretty unique. Its frayed edges are there for a reason. The regulars would moan about its shortcomings, but there is much that should stay the same.

I like the big tables, neutral spaces where it is easy to strike up conversation. I hate the sound system. Adequate most of the time but it really does not do live music the justice it deserves. If bands bring their own PA, it does no seem to travel around the bar. Live music really needs a sound engineer to get it right.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

it is a nice place to go and relax, i hope the new owners will keep its chilled out atmosphere.

spincat said...

I haven't been in there for a while - I find it hard to relax in there because it has very strange chairs and tables. Like ... not a normal chair at a table, if you know what I mean, but odd dentist waiting room style chairs with a tiny low table, or arm chairs, or big scrubbed soviet communal tables. I guess it is my age..

Anonymous said...

There coffee tastes okay. It's never warm enough. They it about too much when making the coffee.

andy pandy puddig & pie said...

i dont like the coffee. If my memory serves me correctly, it tasted like mud.

The tea was nice. And i would still go there, just not for a coffee.

Anonymous said...

Fix the bloody door!

Amanda said...

I like this place, the food to my mind and tastebuds isn't brilliant but the atmosphere is, so swings and roundabouts. It's has a superb vibe.

patrick1971 said...

Moonbow's is nice, as was its New Cross branch. Still don't know why they closed the New Cross one; they should have made it more like the Brockley one!

Graeme said...

They had a shot at SE6 too, but Catford clearly wasn't ready.

Richard said...

66
Out of interest, whereabouts was the New X Moonbows?

I've always liked the very back table in the Brockley version - with the low cushion for seating. Feels like a little hideaway spot

patrick1971 said...

The New Cross Moonbow's was actually the very first one. It was next to Iceland, where the Rising Sun Café Bar is now. Much more of a café type place than the Brockley one; no licence, for a start, and not open in the evenings. It had a second-hand record business in the basement. Back in 1998/99 it was by far the best thing in New Cross. Café Crema is pretty similar to how Moonbow's in New Cross used to be.

nola said...

nick can we have a thread to review cafe crema? i've always wondered about that place but in never seems to be open....

Richard said...

I have only once wandered into Cafe Crema and that was to ask when the shop next door, rubbish & nasty, was open - now that is one place I have never, ever, seen unlocked, with the guards up!

Cafe Crema seemed lovely though and the manageress (I guess) was nice & helpful. There is a Facebook campaign to save Cafe Crema - Goldsmiths are their landlord and have told them and the adjacent shops their lease won't be extended.

Anonymous said...

Nola - Cafe Crema is always open from 11am till late - lovely place.

patrick1971 said...

Is Cafe Crema open late? It's not open on Sunday, or late Saturday in my experience.

Anonymous said...

I wish Moonbows would fix the wobbly tables at the front.

There seems to be a policy of not fixing things unless absolutely neccessary.

info@moonbowjakes.com said...

Hi there. I thought that I should just introduce myself... My name is Tanya and I’m the manager of Moonbow Jakes as well as the events co-ordinator along with the owner John. From now on I shall be stopping by the Brockley Central site on a regular basis to try and clear up any questions and let people know what's going on.
With regards to the wobbly tables, we will be ordering new ones shortly but the reason they get that way is because people have a habit on sitting on them.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Great, thanks for getting in touch with us, it's always good to see some businesses involving the local community.

Now.. lets talk coffee. Who is your supplier and when are you going to get a new one? :o)

spincat said...

Hello Tanya - good to hear from you.
Umm, also the little courtyard at the back.. it could be so nice.

info@moonbowjakes.com said...

Ha ha, well the coffee supplier is staying I’m afraid. We have had the same supplier for 10 years now and we have a great relationship with them. There was a problem in December with water pressure which did affect the coffee but that was obviously out of our hands. We do think that our coffee has improved since we changed the beans a couple of months ago. We like it and so do many others but without bringing in twenty different types of coffee we are never gonna be able to please everyone.

Out back, yes I agree needs sprucing up. We’re gonna be on the case soon to make it a much nicer place to be and not just an outdoor space : )

Anonymous said...

and the loos?

One of them has been out of action for a while now.

Anonymous said...

It closes too early in the evening, not good if you want a late drink.

info@moonbowjakes.com said...

Yep the toilets are gonna be sorted too : )
The closing in the evenings bit we are working on but some nights the whole of Brockley is quiet and we can't keep the bar open for one person. It's about finding a balance that's good for both the customers and business!

spincat said...

When you mention sprucing up the back yard ( which sounds great!) you also say " and not just an outdoor space " which makes me a bit anxious as a smoker. One of the - potentially - nice things about this space is that it si somewhere that is quite a nice space for smokers, not too noisy from the main road. You aren't planning on covering it in, I hope? There is so little that caters to us these days.

info@moonbowjakes.com said...

Don't worry the back garden will still be a smoking friendly zone. As a smoker myself i'm with you!

spincat said...

Good to hear that - thank you!

Anonymous said...

Moonbows has always been a smokey place, full of nicotine and dog-ends. Since the ban on smoking, the interior is far less smelly than when there was a constant fug.

It will be intriguing to see how the rear extension works to accommodate smokers and yet provide shelter from the elements.

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