The Brockley Jack, Brockley Road

The Brockley Jack is the southern gateway to Brockley. Built in 1898, it's a huge, handsome monolith, comprising a pub and a theatre.

By common consent, the pub had fallen on hard times in recent years, losing a lot of its character and clientele and becoming estranged from its theatrical neighbour, with theatre-going footfall failing to translate in to drinking customers.

A few weeks ago, the Jack closed its doors for a quick facelift and the effect is a success. It appears to have nicked a few style tips from Jam Circus - marrying natural wood and bold, patterned wallpaper. The result is saloon pub meets Edwardian drawing room, which is a good thing.

On Saturday, when we snooped around, there seemed to be a good mix of people, from regulars who looked like they had never left their high perches in the middle of the bar, to a large, jolly, indeterminate group enjoying a late lunch.

We've not yet tried the food or experienced a weekend in full swing, but the initial impression is that the new-look Brockley Jack is a 'classless' pub, with a fair amount of class.

34 comments:

Headhunter said...

Sounds lovely, despite my troll statements on the other thread, it'll be nice to have somewhere all Brockley tribes can go to be at one - from scuppies/extra virgin brigade to pseudo working class and parents with kids... I'll defintely have to pop along very soon.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the new higher prices are very classless.

Headhunter said...

Higher prices may not be classless, but what do we want? Cheap prices in a tatty venue which quite frankly was crumbling about our ears, or slightly higher prices and an asset to the area and community which will hopefully attract a new client base without alienating existing customers?

Personally I prefer the latter. Pubs which do not move with times, smarten up, relying on the same customer base they have done for decades face the chop as we see right across London.

London's losing pubs by the fistful as they get bulldozed, turned into flats etc which is a terrible shame as pubs are a unique asset. Thank god the Brockley Jack management have bucked up and decided to liven the place up

Some people may dislike the whole gastro pub concept, but personally I'd prefer a gastro pub to a block of flats

Bobfrombrockley said...

I'm trying to decide if I am a scuppy or a pseudo working class parent...

I popped my head round the door on Saturday evening, and was pleased but not thrilled. It looks nice, but a bit corporate and off the shelf. The menu was OK, but again a bit Weatherspoonsy pub grub.

I know I've slagged off the gentrification of Sarf London's pubs in previous comment threads, but the Brockley Jack was one pub I really wanted gentrified, as I can't stand those big screen/constant drinks promotions/chain places. However, the new look keeps a lot of that.

I'm looking foward to the cinema in the back though.

Anonymous said...

Nothing the working class bloke likes more than a bit of conspicous consumption anyway. Who do you think buys the "premium lager" brands in the biggest volumes?

Working class doesn't mean poor and the poor don't drink in pubs (at least not in the numbers needed to sustain pubs). They get their plonk from the supermarkets, which is why pubs are dying out in large numbers, right across the country. The only way for pubs to survive is to do a Whetherspoons or charge a little bit more for their booze. But a pint in a nice pub is still fantastic value.

Anonymous said...

As long as the prices are not extortionate, whats wrong in paying a little more for better facilities.


Pubs by definition are public spaces, whereas flats private spaces, are about keeping people away, look at Coulgate street and how some residents resented the Christmas market.

The more public spaces the better.

Headhunter said...

Oh dear, doesn't sound very scuppy to me....

lb said...

I wish they'd hurry up and do something with the Talbot, for those of us stranded in the fringes of the conservation area.

spincat said...

There's lots of reasons why pubs are doing badly but one recent one is the smoking ban. I would have been more enthusiastic about the revamp if they'd done more in the new back 'garden' area. Nice that they got a space out back now, but no effort put into making it attractice. I've been to pubs around the country where they've created some nice and imaginative spaces for smokers, but there are very few round South London.

Headhunter said...

Must admit, I welcomed the smoking ban. As an ex smoker who gets tempted after a few jars and ends up stealing a swift fag from friends, the smoking ban has made it more difficult for me to do this when my will power is weakened.

However when out with friends who do smoke we often end up going to places with pleasant outdoor spots for smokers. Pubs should realise this. It'll get them more custom.

mljay said...

tried it out friday evening. nice clean and tidy. no fear of its old clientele leaving it - seemed full of locals, but they were welcoming. food is ok - commercial pub type stuff. def not a gastro, but a good makeover. overheard a lady in the loos discussing "the direction" of the pub (assume she was landlady) and its def going to be a drinking pub (rather than food/ child friendly). Not that children will not be welcomed for meals etc but think they are not going for the afternoon creche concept welcomed by gastropubs. so a good makeover for the area - happy for crofton park and looking forward to the theatre returning. hopefully it will be a success and remain in business.

Anonymous said...

This is great, finally a decent boozer for us locals. Does anyone ever frequent the Mitre in Greenwich? I think its a great pub which attracts a huge crowd, does nice food, shows the footie etc... and I always thought it would be great if the Brockley Jack could emulate some of its good traits. Good look to the BJ (ahem) none the less....

Anonymous said...

With the Brockley Jack looking nice and, Mr Lawrences and Jam Circus in Crofton Park. At the other end of Brockley Road, the shops around the Brockley Cross end are improving. But these positive developments suggest that Brockley Rd is in danger or sagging in the middle.

The area opposite Moonbows is almost derelict. Empty shops and a small bookies which is unlikely to last long in competition with its larger competitor opposite. I think there is a conspiracy afoot. That whole block looks ripe for the plucking by some supermarket or other bet turned into flats.

If they really wanted to let those shops, they would lower the rents and extend the leases.

spincat said...

Incidentally, Jay's, next to Brockley Jack, is being turned into a large Budgens (formerly a small Costcutter).

pjs said...

I went looking for a roast dinner late this afternoon, but had left it too late and had to settle for a gourmet aberdeen angus burger. Not an experience I'd recommend.

madamegeneva said...

Tried the new Brockley Jack last Saturday and was pleasantly suprised. They have really opened up the space so that it feels clean, airy and comfortable. I don't understand the criticisms on prirces. For one the mark-ups on wine are very small and there is choice of over 15 wines by the glass, starting from £2.50 per glass which is very low in London these days. Saw some of the food coming out the kitchen and it looked reasonable - nothing spectacular but with average main courses costing £7 what would you expect?

libznlmfp said...

Before re-vamp always called it "the old mans pub" just good enough to pop in for a quick drink on way home then off!! Reluctantly i re-visited the pub after re-vamp this past sunday for a birthday meal with sister and friends WOW!! Lovely food,nice decor,staff polite,really spacious,fresh and clean and the toilets are amazing!! No screaming children and pushchairs..Deffo going back.

bbewk said...

High viz clad, mung bean eating cyclists take over the place when theatre is on there.

Headhunter said...

The rest of the time it's old geezers with fag stains on their fingers, hacking up a lung whilst staring blankly at an hour old pint of lager, or paunchy blokes in football tops...

bbewk said...

Still a great many blokes in jogging bottoms covered in putty from Friday lunchtime onwards.

marion Keyes said...

Had an upsetting pre-theatre experience at the new Brockley Jack pub tonight. We'd booked for 'Jane Eyre' and went along hoping to get some supper - around 6.30 pm.

Despite all the food advertising boards outside we were told upon placing our order from the menu that there was no food available - not even a sandwich - due to a large booking later on.

On explaining to the bar staff that we had not eaten and were going into the theatre at 7.45 - one of the staff felt sorry for us and suggested we get some sandwiches from the supermarket nextdoor and eat them in the pub - which is what we did, along with our drinks and crisps ordered at the bar.

Almost immediately we were approached by what appeared to be 'the manager' who ordered us to put away our food immediately. We explained that we had wanted to order food but could not and had permission of bar staff to do what we were doing.....but all to no avail....there was no apology, no compassion, just sheer beligerent rudeness and humiliation in front of the other customers...many of whom were enjoying plates of hot food by this time.

Although we enjoyed the excellent theatre production we were extremely disappointed by our treatment by the pub management and will not be going there again.

patrick1971 said...

Marion that sounds awful. I can only think that the manager must have been having an exceptionally bad day; whenever I've eaten there before he's been most solicitous to make sure that we were enjoying the food and that everything was all right.

Sounds like someone screwed up monumentally on your night. If you've got a big party coming in, why not just order more food rather than shut off food for other customers? Very odd. I would urge you to give it another go; the food is good quality and very reasonably priced.

Jamie said...

umm have to agree with Marion had a touch of deli belly here recently along with frozen carrots seems a pretty harsh way to treat your customers. I would certainly not go again as it is all microwaved food! except the chargrilled steak I guess

Jt said...

What an awful story, the manager of the Brockley Jack needs to remember to put customers first. To treat people like that especially given the economic climate we're is a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree with the comments regarding the food served at the Brockley Jack!! Its not microwaved but all cooked either by grill or oven you can see the kitchen as you go up to the ladies toilets perhaps the size prohibits the numbers of meals being produced???? It does seem rather small!! I have never experienced rudeness from either staff or manager, quite the opposite:) This dirty drug ridden pub has been vastly improved since the refurbishment its now an enjoyable venue to eat and drink with my family. We visit at least once a week now. May I suggest booking a table??? I always do as its always in great demand especially on a Sunday lunch time.

lucindasparrow said...

Aw poor Marion Ive never had any problems in the Jack in fact quite the opposite. I know that if you want to eat before a play you need to arrive at least 45 minutes before its starts to guarantee getting a meal. This is a very popular Pub now its always busy when I eat there.

Jamie said...

Im sorry but having worked as chef you know when food is frozen its just not good enough.

Anonymous said...

It would be good to have an interview with the manager to get his/her thoughts on this.

Joshua said...

Hi Brockley
I went to theatre last night great show really worth seeing this very powerful piece of writing. So go along and see Notes on a Lasagne

Pheobe said...

Hi can we start a review page for the theatre the show on at the moment is fantastic

Brockley Nick said...

Pheobe, are you able to email me a quick review please and I'll create a thread for it.

Pheobe said...

Hi Nick
I'm not so good at the review stuff but take a look at the review on remotegoat thats where I read about the show

thanks Pheobe

Anonymous said...

I am absolutly disgusted with this pub me and my son n a friend of mine went in there today for lunch, my partner and his brother then turnt up after finishing work to meet me they then went to the bar and got refused a drink because they was in work clothes!!!! I wouldn't mind but they both are carpet fitters and are around new carpets allday I'm sorry but we are in brockley not central London and we certainly wasn't in the ritz hotel we are paying customer also and I felt this was a disgusting way to treat us because my partner had done a days work!!! We will not be returning to this place!!!

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