Coming soon: The Hardcastle, 44 Lewisham Way

Artist's impression of The Hardcastle from the planning document

Major pubco Enterprise Inns has submitted plans to redevelop The Rosemary Branch pub (44 Lewisham Way) as "The Hardcastle". In their planning application, they say:

The proposed site is a large and somewhat run down Victorian era pub set in the heart of New Cross, near to Goldsmith’s College. The site is not listed nor within a conservation area but is however a fine and somewhat grandiose building of some architectural merit.

Means of access, tree planting nor felling and watercourses will not be altered.

It is hoped that the refurbishment, new branding and change of operator of this well sited pub will once again establish it firmly within the local community. As part of the refurbishment it is proposed to fix retractable awnings to the front elevation of the building to help reinforce the pub’s presence and to offer it’s [sic] customers shelter from poor weather. Please note that we also intend to remove the rear pagoda style extension that has caused both the local community and council some concern in the past (Your Ref: DC/10/75156 & DC/09/71739).

The Lewisham Way venue has been through a number of incarnations in recent years.

It had been speculated (though not by Brockley Central) that this could be the site for new drinking establishment, the Grizzly Bar. This news rules that possibility out and shows just how strong the New Cross pub renaissance is.

With thanks to Danja for the story.

37 comments:

Meryl said...

Hope it sticks around. We took ages to decide to go see it as the Black Flag and by then it was closed. Damn.

Anonymous said...

With that name pity it wasnt N N N 19 Lewisham Way.

Brockley Jon said...

Good news. The couple times I've been in, a few years ago now admittedly, it always felt like a pub that wasn't quite sure where it was going or who to appeal to. With this and the plans for the Inn & Tavern, New Cross is on the up. Something like The Telegraph would be most welcome.

Anonymous said...

I've walked past this pub every day for 2 years and have never been tempted in. Would be great to have as my local if they do it up a bit and put some decent ales on tap!

Anonymous said...

The Black Flag didn't seem to make much of an impression really - agree with you Jon that it has suffered an identity crisis for years - have been walking past on my way to work for 4 years and never fancied going in!

Anonymous said...

looking at the Enterprise website I doubt there would be something nice and soulfull like The Telegraph or The Royal Albert. Does anybody knows this company?

Danja said...

That depends more on the tenant.

Matt-Z said...

Successive owners/managers/landlords have managed to muck up the Rosemary Branch. It should be easy to make a success of a pub on a main road, 50 yards from a University. Hopefully this new lot have better luck.

Anonymous said...

This was posted by the promoters of The Black Flag on their Facebook page after they shut:

"It is with great sadness that we inform you that the Black Flag, New Cross is officially finished. Mark Dark and myself went into the Rosemary Branch over three months ago and with our own hands, decorated it and converted it into the Black Flag, the first pirate theme...d pub of its kind. We had agreed on a deal with the leaseholder Vincent Phung, but soon found after commencing work at the establishment that all promises that had been made to us were soon broken by Vincent himself. We were never allowed to actually run the establishment as we were promised, we had to continually deal with problems caused by Vincent Phung and his family, our attempts to combat noise complaints were thwarted by Vincents illigal parties that he continually held upstairs. The last of which was described as a bloodbath. We have lasted three long months at the pub. And have tried everything we can to work with Vincent Phung but have found the whole experience akin to banging your head against a brick wall. This week we informed Vincent that we wanted the concept, which is copyrighted removed from his premises, including all the decorations which we purchased and were denide entry. I now have no choice but to begin legal proceedings against Vincent Phung as he is continuing to use my concept illigally without the permission of either Mark or myself Fear not though for the Black Flag, shall fly again as a Music Venue, hopefully relaunching within a month to six weeks time. Alas the Black Flag New Cross looks set to sink on November the 2nd as because of continuing criminal activity, the council will be taking its premises license and closing the place indefinately. Please bear with us during this difficult time Thanks Steve Kleenex & Mark Dark"

Source: http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=127855983919342&v=wall

Robert said...

Well, after all that has gone on, it's a relief to see that someone with a track record is taking the pub on. It's depressing to see our valuable community pubs fall into rack and ruin followed by residential development.

A rat... said...

...I jumped off a while back.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mb said...

Wow! Unsubstatiated rumour alert!!

Danja said...

Unfortunately the licence review notes were sadly lacking in juicy detail
http://tinyurl.com/683n372

Matt-Z said...

I missed the comment above, but I know Steve personally, and the experience they had trying to make a go of it was a nightmare. He alludes to some of the trouble in his Facebook post, full details probably shouldn't be repeated on here, but it was pretty horrific.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

It must have been bad for Enterprise to take it back and manage it themselves; most of their pubs are tenanted.

For example the Wickham and the Rising Sun in Loampit Vale are both Enterprise Houses.

Correct me if I am wrong but I think they are second to Punch Taverns in size.

Brockley Nick said...

@TM - I've read they're the second biggest pubco

Tommo said...

@ TM

They're a huge company with a national presence but you're right - it does seem highly unusual for them to take things back in-house. Encouraging that they're not just washing their hands and selling up - they can obviously envisage growth in New Cross.

mintness said...

Fingers crossed for them. I walk past the pub on the way to the gym at Goldsmiths and it always strikes me as a decent site, but it's never quite got it right. I actually reckon it'd be the perfect spot for an eatery - an affordable family-run Italian, say - but this'll do too if it works out.

Danja said...

They aren't necessarily taking it in house. They might be renovating as part of a deal with a new tenant, or they might just see it as necessary in order to get a new tenant.

Anonymous said...

Lets hope it stays mainly as a pub,we dont want another bloody eatery.

Running Nutter said...

the Rosie used to be a great pub .I hope they can recapture the spirit. I think they could have kept the name though, and i don't mean black flag

Anonymous said...

Yep,the Rosie used to be one of the best pubs round here.

Anonymous said...

what does the new name mean?

Tamsin said...

Presumably Joseph Hardcastle who lived in Hatcham House, was a friend of William Wilberforce and a leading light in the anit-slavery movement. There's a glass window in All Saints Church to him and the "Saints" in the church dedication are the abolitionists rather than the usual.

But even with this bit of history behind it, it does seem a great pity to change pub names. Gradual change I can understand - but not the wholesale re-christening that was the fasion of the 90s. I rather hoped we had got beyond that trend.

Anonymous said...

Yawn Tamsin.... Why do you now object to changing a pub name. What is so sacrosanct about a pub name? Boring boring comments about why New Cross should be the way it was in the dark ages......

please change the record.

(I hope the pub is named after the 80's tv show Hardcastle and McCormick)

Tamsin said...

There has been this discussion on a previous thread when the Railway Tavern by Nunhead suddenly closed. I just think it's a shame to lose a bit of history - and there are some fascinating pub names around - The Anti-Gallician, notably, the Artichoke, the World Turned Upside Down, four Tiger's Heads (within quite a small area of Lee and Bromley - but none that I've noticed anywhere else around the country).

If you read my post I am not saying there should be no change - things develop and the Anti-Gallician was obviously a new name in the 1800s - but the rate of change that we had in the 1990s for no other reason than corporate branding was, to my mind, regrettable.

Anyone know the origin of "The Rosemary Branch"?

Danja said...

Might be a clue here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lausanne_Football_Club_(Dulwich)

Anonymous said...

I believe one of the reasons they change a pub name, is if it previously had a bad reputation.

Anonymous said...

There's no reason why this shouldn't be a successful pub.

However a word of warning to the new owner. Please use door staff for a few months at least. The pub attracted some dodgy customers (before it became The Black Flag) and the last owner had dodgy friends.

Anonymous said...

The BDS are going to be on the lookout for trouble in the area.

Ale drinker said...

The trouble is employing door staff puts off the type of decent punter any reasonable landlord wants to attract

Anonymous said...

i agree doorman give off the wrong impression for a local pub. if they get it right dodgy types will be the exception rather than the norm and will have no reason to hang there anyway.

Anonymous said...

If the same customers come back no-one else will bother going there. Doorman are crucial at first.

Peri said...

Would be great to have decent coffe teAs snacks and wifi a la www.cafeoto.com or the londonparticular.co.uk

Anonymous said...

New poster went up on the front of the pub yesterday looking for a tenant for "the best pub in New Cross".

Looks like they've ditched the Hardcastle name and are going with the Old Haberdashers now.

Anonymous said...

Like the paint job. But please no loud boorish music all the time

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