M theory: is Morley the new McDonalds?


All change on Endwell Road: Lithu's Chicken & Pizza, having been displaying a tantalising 'under new management' sign for the past couple of weeks, now appears to be the latest outpost of the Morley empire. With the addition of ribs and burgers, it also has effectively doubled its menu. Fantastic.

87 comments:

Anonymous said...

no

darryl said...

I thought Morley's (Mmmmm.... it tastes better!) had contracted over the years? In the 90s, its outlets stretched from Brixton to Greenwich - its branch next to the New Cross Venue being a SE London equivalent of the McDonald's in Time Square.

Anonymous said...

God dammit. We Brockley folk want better fare than this - KFC!

TJ(O) said...

Fantastic indeed

Anonymous said...

Mmmmm more battery farmed chicken, yummy.

Mb said...

Do chickens have ribs? Fusion cuisine is old news, I want gene-spliced cuisine.

Headhunter said...

Brockley truly is the centre of fried chicken, bookies, funeral parlours and car related enterprises... Will it never end?

Looking after a dog at the moment for a couple of friends and I have realised there is a new hazard in all the half chewed chicken bones left on the street - the dog picks them up and chicken bones can be lethal to pooches! I have to walk round Brockley with my eyes peeled for random fried chicken bones, kicking them out of the way before dog sees them...

lb said...

It's true, I haven't seen any expansion of the Morley's empire for ages, though Chicken Cottage seemed to be spreading its deep-fried tentacles further across London until recently. "Fantastic Morley" is a new way of putting it, as well. Are they starting a diffusion brand or something?

Ed said...

The exciting(?) new restaurant (that looks like a brothel with its dark windows and frontage) is up for sale. Businesses will always open where they can engage with their market... Mung beaners, we need to step up awareness of our disposable incomes. Waitrose, Pizza Express et al, I know your reading, come and get it!

Anticipating posts telling me to piss off and that Brockley is a creative working class area that should be left alone, look a little farther back!

Ed said...

The exciting(?) new restaurant (that looks like a brothel with its dark windows and frontage) is up for sale. Businesses will always open where they can engage with their market... Mung beaners, we need to step up awareness of our disposable incomes. Waitrose, Pizza Express et al, I know your reading, come and get it!

Anticipating posts telling me to piss off and that Brockley is a creative working class area that should be left alone, look a little farther back!

Node said...

Sadly it looks like it is a cheap copy. For a start it should be called Morley's not Morley, and they would use their own logo and font.

Although it does use the word 'fantastic' in the title so I imagine it will be truly amazing cuisine...

Anonymous said...

Morley's legal team are on it.

Brockley FOx said...

Morleys has opened a new outlet next the the job centre in Lewisham (almost opposite the hospital).

Ed: I'm completely with you. If we want to attract investment, and new business,s then we need places such as Pizza express, especially ad the only Italian restaurant has been closed for a year. I'm not saying we should fill the place with only "chains" but they do help in the success of a town, and are expected by most people. They also serve as a barometer of how good a town is.

eg: "Best one" or "morleys" = "poor undesirable area. "Pizza Express" or "Waitrose" = "high class, desirable" area.

Sadly, all the usual Brockites seem concerned about is the insignificant "mural" by the station, winging about coulgate street, and routing through the bins for some tat they can place in hilly fields as "art" Its not art, its just shit! Brockley "should" be a desirable location to live, given its short commute time to London Bridge. But without a clear vision, and lack of initial investment, will put people off. Brockley needs properly marketed, but this will never happen. So, we're left with the likes of "the barge" and Morleys.

Tim said...

Ed, I agree with much of that. Problem is, no proper regeneration will occur until the area outside the station and the high street become more business friendly. This includes restricting parking and somehow getting rid of that massive garage. Not to mention rhe ridiculous double roundabout at Brockley Cross. None of this will happen as lewishsm council are incompetent, relative to other councils, and distracted in any case by the budget cuts they need to make.

Howson Road said...

I actually live The Barge - weatherspoons is awesome, inexpensive and the decor of the place is actually rather nice.

I don't trust fried chicken outlets generally...

Brockley Ben said...

Pizza Express and Waitrose will have their own barometers that gauge whether we merit their attention. I suspect we're a way short right now.

Personally I'd rather see some (more) good quality independents make a go of it, than feel blessed by Pizza Express's dull identikit presence. Le Querce is a great example of what can be achieved (and another Italian incidentally).

Having said that I'd far rather have a Nandos on my door step than the current clutch of chicken shacks.

Howson Road said...

*love...not live. I don't live in the barge, or any barge for that matter.

Brockley Fox said...

The Barge is inexpensive and they do some reasonable take away coffee for a decent price. But otherwise, its a bit dingy.

Headhunter said...

Pah hah! Sorry I just spat carefully brewed espresso all over my computer in mirth at your last comment!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear.... Properly market brockley? How about putting some contemporary art on hilly fields, locals smartening up the main station, making coulgate street more attractive... Etc. What exactly did you have in mind fantastic mr fox? Brocks and browns and a smart street scape attract the kind of demographic that would frequent a pizza express - if that's what you want. Stop carping

Brockley Jon said...

so did we establish - is it a proper Morley's (mmmm) with new branding, or even worse... a fake one!?

I did try one of those chicken places once (mentioning no names, soundalike or otherwise). I was a bit squiffy at the time. I could swear the chips were cooked in the same fat as the chicken! :-/

Anonymous said...

craptacular

Anonymous said...

Jon :

"I did try one of those chicken places once (mentioning no names, soundalike or otherwise). I was a bit squiffy at the time. I could swear the chips were cooked in the same fat as the chicken! "

I have been in the exact same situation, only with Morleys. I went in, against my better judgement, for some chips only to see them cooking them in the chicken fryer instead of the chip fryer. And they were only half cooked.

Anonymous said...

One day there will be a map of South London the will lay bare the skin, bones and underbelly of these chicken carcass frying businesses. Explain the story and true provenance of those battered breasts and wings.

There is a really bad chicken factory out there somewhere recycling the worst bits and much of it seems to end up on the streets of Brockley.

As a starter, I can confidently report that the Peri-Peri chicken in Giraffe on the South Bank is of far better quality than the same dish at Nandos in Elephant and Castle. Both are a bit 'up town' by Brockley standards.

What we need is some investigative reportage...

Anonymous said...

Mmm.... underbelly....

John said...

Ben, why not set-up your own restaurant if you're that concerned about it?

Anonymous said...

John, dont be silly. Just because you know the kind of restaurant you like does not mean you are the person best equipped or funded, or a person with the time, to open one.

Anonymous said...

Where can i get the chips cooked in chicken fat?
Without Morley's et al we would only be left with the Orchard for rubbish frozen fries.

Anonymous said...

So, people who eat at Morleys don't generally read or contribute to a blog like this?

what does that tell you then?

Anonymous said...

That it's full of neo-vegan tossers?

Ifyoulikeitsomuchwhydontyougoandlivethere said...

What's a neo-vegan? I do like a toss though, I must admit.

mintness said...

I'll indulge in a Morleys on - usually mildly sozzled - occasion. Backhanded compliment though it may be, I've found it (at least from the Lewisham Way branch/franchise/outpost) to be better than any of the other QualityTennesseeChickenChateau-type establishments in the area. And yes, just as with our esteemed coffee snobs, it is possible to tell the difference. ;-)

Tressilliana said...

Fishy Business is best for chips. One small portion could feed a family of ten for a week, though, so bear that in mind when ordering.

Headhunter said...

Yep, I had a small portion of chips from Fishy Business whilst walking the dog last week and felt like I didn't need to eat for a week... The portions are enormous and the chips are pretty decent chunky efforts, none of yer frozen fries

Brockley Ben said...

Interested in all the Morleys support. I confess I hadn't given them a second glance, other than to register that there are quite a few dotted around. Are they genuinely a cut above the rest?

This place looks basically unchanged apart from the new sign so I'm leaning towards the intriguing theory that this may be an imitation rather than a new branch.

Whether or not I'll be trying it is another matter. I have certainly been known to indulge in the odd kebab (usually from Gulen opposite the Barge), but I can't see any attraction fried (sometimes reconstituted) low-welfare chicken.

As for why I'm not planning to open a restaurant myself, John, I am barely more qualified to do that than I am to direct an episode of Mad Men, despite indulging in both greedily. And I know plenty of people far more suited to the job than me who have struggled. But it is certainly possible to succeed, and those who try deserve support, particularly if they bring pride and personality to what they're doing.

Anonymous said...

Note - this is called Fantastic Morley. Not to be confused with the chain/franchise, Morley's.

I said...

There is a shop on Lewisham way called Mowley's, same red branding etc. The only difference between it and Morley's is that the former is actually clean, which makes it unique I think.

free-range said...

No amount of alcohol would make me eat fried chicken. I can't help thinking that I'd be eating an animal that has more or less been tortured.

TJ(O) said...

HH - you got a dog? What breed did you get? Or is s/he a rescue pup?

Ed said...

Fried Chicken (KFC only, I'm a snob) is a guilty pleasure of mine I'll admit.

I didn't mean for my earlier comment to be divisive; the market will eventually change Brockley for the better, it will just take longer than we thought in 2007/8.

I'd like to see a few indies, a pizza express and a fried chicken shack all in one neighbourhood; argue about that!

Anonymous said...

we've got a decade to go minimum before pizza express even contemplate a Brockley branch.

Ed said...

Whilst ten years is of course within the realms of possibility I'd say that three to five years is more probable.

John said...

Ben, Including Morleys.

M said...

I can't see any decent eateries opening anytime soon around the station. Just look at all the empty units in the area. Until then you could fill your boots on a different chicken shop for each day of the week...

Brockley Nick said...

There are lots of empty units, but where are the spaces for restaurants? There are no empty units on Brockley Road, for example. There is only one empty restaurant unit on Endwell Road, which I can think of. And its location is not among the main drag. It's also only available as a freehold, not a leasehold...

Lack of quality units (right condition, right location, right size) remains a major problem.

Henry's Cat said...

Over in Hither Green we are blessed with a Favourable Fried Chicken. I've had a dirty tea from FFC on a couple of occasions. Doesn't matter what you order, they just plonk in a stale bun whatever bit of breaded carcass they have on the grill. Posters on the Hither Green blog are always banging on about wanting classier pubs and restaurants, while forgetting that with the application of Lou Baker's logic (Telegraph hill is actually part of East Dulwich), we have any number of lovely restaurants because Hither Green is actually part of Blackheath...

Monkeyboy said...

I had a pizza in Scotland. It had both chicken tikka and kebab meat as a topping. They know how to line a stomach AND your arteries in one go.

THNick said...

Anon somewhere above. If you want good peri-peri chicken, then come to Nunhead. Na-Pura do a very good version.
I used to eat a the local Tennessee fried chicken BITD. They did lovely hot wings from memory, certainly better than anything you can get from KFC/McDonalds/other alternatives.

Anonymous said...

Most of the restaurants in these parts have very small kitchens that seriously limit their capacity to get the meals on the table during busy times.

So we have cafes and takeaways that heat up frozen meat pieces and deep fry or grill it in some mechanistic fashion.

More established chains that do the same sort of thing but make it more of a dining experience are quite discerning about location. They want bums on seats and for that you have to be in an are that is a social destination.

Lordship Lane is becoming like that and Greenwich and Blackheath always were.

The best Lewisham can come up with is New Cross with it's febrile mix of students and people from Bexley who make a nuisance of themselves at the Venue.

Brockley, with it's dejected shopping parades,a rough pub and no large venue is not so much a destination as a thoroughfare. The businesses we have are those that can survive and they cater for basic local needs: food, takeaways, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, car servicing, property services and money transfer.

Now Crofton Park - that has more potential. If the Rivoli got going, all those folks might be looking for a nice dinner as part of their night out.

What I don't understand is why the commercial landlords do not drop the rents they demand for business premises around here. Are they holding out for the day some big outfit becomes interested in the freeholds so they keep the leases short and expensive?

Monkeyboy said...

I'm actually not offended by a bit of junk food, posh food can be just as unhealthy. Just wish the high street didn't have SO many places selling the same low quality grub. Still, if that's what the the punters want and they're willing to pay the rent it's difficult to counter. Am I being defeatist?

Anonymous said...

Fantastic Morley is not the same as Morley's... it's like opening a shop called 'fantastic pimark' and selling manky t shirts.

Anonymous said...

I think they may have the work experience kid doing their PR.

Mondee said...

It's funny (in a depressing kind of way) that we're busy debating whether/when we might get a Pizza Express when it turns out that we're not even deemed
ready for the REAL Morley's chicken emporium.

Giovanni said...

The more I think about it, the more I realise that Brockley is quite a dump. I've lived there and stayed there for 8 years, mainly because I like the inside of my house and it's close to the station. But if I have to drive or walk around Brockley, I really wonder to myself how I ended up living in such a shithole. I am sorry, but it's true. There's nothing arty or cool about it. There are lots of layabouts and/or crazy drunks. There's only one pub which I wouldn't dare go into, no bars, no places to eat of any worth. Nothing! All the comments in this thread suggest that everyone else thinks the same. And it's not really amusing when you think about it.

And before anyone does the usual "Well if you don't like it, why don't you just move!!" I say two things:
1. I'm on a fixed term mortgage for another 2 years and then I intend to.
2. To where? Isn't it just pretty shit everywhere unless you live in a very affluent neighbourhood?

Rant over. I'm going for a fag.

Brockley Nick said...

@Giovanni

"There's only one pub which I wouldn't dare go into, no bars, no places to eat of any worth. Nothing!"

Rubbish. The map on this site has loads of good places listed. This site is overflowing with loads of events, festivals and activities and Brockley has many lovely streets and open spaces.

That's not to say there isn't lots of dross too.

Monkeyboy said...

Don't let the door hit you on the arse on the way out.....

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

"There's only one pub which I wouldn't dare go into"

Maybe something lost in translation here, but I read it as one bad pub and loads of good ones......

I actually think there are a couple of good ones in Brockley and lots of mediocre ones. I don't know of one I wouldn't dare go into though.

Anonymous said...

"Mmmm it tastes beter" (...that signage is going to have to go)

livinginashitholeergoiamshit said...

"But if I have to drive or walk around Brockley, I really wonder to myself how I ended up living in such a shithole."

The answer of course is that you lack bravery and good judgement. No doubt you moved here because you earn less than deserved and cannot afford to live in the Cotswold's.
Killing yourself now is the only real solution.

Ed said...

I can see Giovanni's point. Whilst I often smile at things like the community sunflowers, enjoy a good meal at TM2 or BM and walk past a gallery every day I do sometimes wonder at what all the people in sportswear do, it doesn't appear to be sport.

Current mental image of Brockley: a rather ill looking lady with a bull terrier and fag telling her kids to choose from the fried chicken menu. I got the impression that this was dinner and not a treat.

Matt-Z said...

@ Tyrwhitt Michael - I think he is saying there is only one pub, and he wouldn't dare go in it (presumably the Brockley Barge, and I can see why it's not everyone's cup of tea).

This is of course bollocks as there are plenty of pubs and bars within walking distance of the station:

The Wickham
The Orchard
Jam Circus
Mr Lawrence
Brockley Jack


And if you walk a bit further:
The Talbot
Skeehan's
Ladywell Tavern
Try Tapas (the bar part)
The Honor Oak

Giovanni if you haven't noticed any of these, I suggest you give them a go, there is something for everyone. If you have and still don't like anything then perhaps moving is your only option.

See what I've done.. said...

The more I think about it, the more I realise that Brockley makes Lewisham look like a dump. I've lived there and stayed there for 10 years, mainly because I like the inside of my house and it's close to the station. But if I have to drive or walk around Brockley, I really wonder to myself how I ended up living in such a green and quiet place amongst the other shitholes. I am sorry, but it's true. There's something arty and cool about it. There are lots of student layabouts and/or crazy drunks having a good time in the Orchard. There's only one pub which I wouldn't dare go into, some bars, and places to eat of worth. 10 years ago there was nothing! All the comments in this thread suggest that everyone else thinks the same. And it's not really amusing, that the ES keeps ranting on about it being the next big thing, when you think about it.

And before anyone does the usual "Well if you don't like it, why don't you just move!!" I say two things:
1. I'm on a fixed term mortgage for another 2 years and then I intend to.
2. To where? Isn't it just pretty shit everywhere unless you live in a very affluent neighbourhood?

Rant over. I'm going for a fag.

See what I've not done said...

Oh I missed the bottom paragraph -

little said...

I bet the sign was by this chap: http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2009/march/meet-mr-chicken

hmmm said...

I think you have to be 'a-look-on-the- brightside;, happy, sociable, non jugdemental person to appreciate Brockley.

Paddyom said...

I thought Morleys was called Monkeys for years until a friend mentioned its name and corrected me. The shop fronts are written in script style font and do look like Monkeys...so i dont feel like such a Monkey!

Now is tomorrow said...

Giovanni, you say you have stayed here because you like the inside of your home, dude REMEMBER that if you were not in Brockley you wouldn't be able to afford a property like that. You'd be far out in zone 8 or something. Appreciate what you have.

just cos its got fried chicken doesn't mean its all rubbish said...

@little, thanks for that link... I've got a real thing for chicken signage. I remember filling a good hour on a long journey trying to list every _fc outlet we knew.

On the shabbiness or otherwise of Brockley, there's definitely been a lot of great stuff happening in the last few years, and a few steps back. Both Brocas, Browns, Orchard, Talbot, Brockley Mess, Jam Circus, even Degusation all good places to have on the doorstep. You can argue about their merits, but for me they're all places I'm happy to go into that didn't exist when I moved in (okay Moonbows was there, but you know what I mean).

But there are still some days I walk around and say, "What a dump"... and that's even before I've left my house.

Brockley Jon said...

On the subject of signage, I still reel at the sight of the kerning fail on the Lion's sign along Brockley Rd. It looks like Li o n's, and offends my tender eyes. They should have got their money back for sure!

mg said...

There used to be an amusing blog called Badgas run by someone in this vague locality who collected for ridicule pics of (Tennessee/Dixie/other vaguely Southern US word) Fried Chickens and their attendant Uncle Sam rooster signage. Also nail joints (hand holding a rose, usually, perhaps with an American flag) and 'money churches'. It's defunct now (but presume it still exists somewhere in the far reaches of the interwebs). Ah, hours of timewasting at work. Now I have BC.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be an bias on the map of Brockley, which highlights places of interest to....whom?

A takeaway map of the area should be up there. Along with reviews and....not just the fancy pants ones either.

Behind everyone of those businesses is a story that makes Brockley what it is today.

Brockley Nick said...

There is a bias, towards places the Brockley Central editorial team rate. If you'd like to create your own map, listing and rating every chicken shop and newsagent in the area, then I will post an article about it.

Brockley Ben said...

On the theme of fast food blogs: http://meatinaroll.blogspot.com/

There's some Brockley stuff in there.

Anonymous said...

So the editorial team don't do takeaways?

They have never meandered uncertainly from Brockley station after fullsome evening of libation?

Never happened upon the inviting prospect of a tasty supper from one of these establishments and perused the menu and succumbed to temptation?

Well I can only say such rectitude is uncommon for this area.

Are you really journalists?

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon...

"So the editorial team don't do takeaways?"

Personally, yes - Babur, Smiles, Long Time and Fishy Business - all on the map

"They have never meandered uncertainly from Brockley station after fullsome evening of libation?"

No

"Never happened upon the inviting prospect of a tasty supper from one of these establishments and perused the menu and succumbed to temptation?"

No

"Well I can only say such rectitude is uncommon for this area."

No

"Are you really journalists"

No - except Kate

Anonymous said...

I just don't believe there is a human capable of using a map and also needing one to find a chicken shop.

Tressilliana said...

Would someone who only goes to a fast food outlet when very drunk walk past the first one they come to because it didn't have a very good review on BC?

Morley's said...

Dear all,

I work for Morley's (Fast Foods) head office. I can categorically deny that this shop in question is a Morleys (Fast Food) outlet. We are in fact in the process of taking action against this store and three others.By all means feel free to eat at these stores but these stores do not get regulated by us and therefore, the quality we set at Morley's will not be the same. We are currently opening new stores but mainly in the Croydon area at the moment as the South east area has become very saturated. Obviously from reading all the comments I can see there is slight confusion which is why I feel that it is my obligation to notify the public.
From the comments made I noticed there are many people unhappy about the general feel of chicken shops around your area. We are always trying to meet our customers high standards but obviously implementing them seems to take far too long. If there are any ways which will make you feel more satisfied and generally more happy when eating or just walking past our shops please don't hesitate to inform us.
You can visit us at morleyschicken.com

Thank you

Helpful said...

Well I think what some people here would respond to is redesigned shops with soft furnishings, good quality art reproductions on the walls and organic and/or ethically sourced chicken products.

Maybe rebrand a store like this Morleys Premium and charge accordingly.

Brockley Nick said...

@Morley's thanks for joining the debate. Do you have a list of bona fide Morley's outlets in Lewisham?

darryl said...

There's a full list on their website - glad to see it still stretches from Brixton to Greenwich.

Clucking hell said...

Careful Morley rip offs, you may wake up with a chickens head in your bed

This in not a poultry matter.

Ophelia Bottom said...

I rate this thread 13 out of 2. :-)

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