The Royal Albert Pub
460 New Cross Road
Over the past 2 years I’ve become a coffee obsessive/bore and I plan to bring the coffee here to a very high standard at some point. Once some of the more pressing issues are dealt with I’ll be cracking on with the coffee; guys like Ross at Brown’s and Lysney and Neil of Exchange Coffee at Lewisham Market have shown there’s a place for speciality coffee in the area.
As well as all of that we’ll be looking at offering a short cocktail list at all times over the next couple of months, plus we have local designer Robin Stannard (twitter.com/full_beard) working on a logo, menus, flyers and all other things paper, and a photographer called Ewa taking snaps such as the one in this article. We’re already on twitter (twitter.com/theroyalalbert) and will be getting an email newsletter up and running very soon.
We're a pub first and foremost, so the primary aim is to be a great place to come for a drink. That said, we’re looking to attract to attract more diners. We don’t want to alienate customers who just want a pint or a glass of wine, so we’ll have plenty of small options on the menu as well as substantial mains.
As good as our food will be I don’t see us as a destination eatery for foodies, other than those who live in the area.
You hosted a lot of live music at Jam Circus, are you planning the same at The Royal Albert?
Holly has established Thursday as the night for live music and Fridays and Saturdays for DJs. They've been hugely popular and Friday is usually by far our busiest night, but we're looking now to add some variety to the bands and, to a lesser extent, the DJs. We're hopeful by late spring we'll have a line-up to tell people about (any local bands do get in touch!)
We have a Monday night pub quiz. For as long as I've known this pub the quiz has been a bit different to the rest - there's a creative round (plasticine masterpieces, etc) and a challenge round (paper aeroplane throwing, etc). We're also looking at throwing an early summer party just for fun. Plus, we're open to other events such as Deptford X festival, etc.
Who’s in charge of Jam Circus now? Is it in good hands?
Have newcomers like The Orchard and The Talbot made life tougher for you?
I would usually say no, as competition in such under-served healthy and helps keeps more people local. However, I don't think enough people living at the Lewisham Way end of Brockley have known about The Royal Albert, what we offer, or how close we are and they are some of the people I need to reach. Now that they have The Talbot and The Orchard nearby that will be more difficult for us. Both are fairly food-focused, so we’ll have healthy competition for diners, and our late hours might mean we can attract a few more for drinks. I have no complaints though; they’re both great for the area and less than 5 minutes from my flat!
Do you think we'll see more pubs and bars open in the area in the next couple of years?
Yes, but I struggle to think where. Premises are unlikely become available and Deptford's high street area isn't the most attractive. The future of Brockley has to begin at Brockley Cross, forming a cohesive mini high street with Brockley Road, but we rely on the road layout being improved for anything to change.