Browns applies for license

Coulgate Street cafe Browns of Brockley, has applied for a license to serve alcohol until 11pm, Monday to Sunday and provide regulated entertainment, in particular, film screenings and live music.

The cafe has already made its name on the basis of its outstanding coffee quality and established itself as a hipster hangout, so this is a natural move. The Broca already stages evening events and the presence of the Brockley Barge means that Coulgate Street residents are no strangers to drinking establishments. Brown's small size means it's unlikely to become a raucous venue and while The Orchard and the Barge do a good job catering to different clientele, it would be nice to have another local drinking option.

The application notice is available in their window.

68 comments:

Brockley booze bird said...

Awesome! The downside for me being it will now be impossible for me to go straight home from the station without wandering in for a glass of wine or similar. The liver and wallet will not be thankful!

Anonymous said...

I still miss Dandelion Blue.

Ian on The Hill said...

I guess I might be prepared to occasionally break my habits and go downmarket from the Barge.

Ed CPZ said...

I see lots of good looking and well dressed women in and around Browns;, BBB are you one of them and do you really have a wallet...?

Brockley Ben said...

Does this mean they'll have to sort out a customer loo?

Monkeyboy said...

Must admit I was sceptical that the place was big enough to turn a profit. Glad to have been proven wrong.

If it's classed as a cafe does it not have to have a bog?

Bored and tired said...

I hope it sorts the bog situation out, yes - I couldn't trust myself to have a drink or two and make it home without one.

Mantis said...

ha ha 'hipster hangout', presumably you've defined hipster as anyone without a mewling blob in tow...

Marie said...

I am going to oppose this. There is far too much alcohol sold around the station already!

Anonymous said...

Gulen's will be bricking it.

Ed CPZ said...

I encourage you to prove it Marie or is that just your opinion?

Can we have a BC drinks at Gulen's to check it (and my censored suspicions) out?

Anonymous said...

why would you oppose it? brockley has virtually no nightlife, so a space to socialise in the evening would be welcome. and it's that that's the issue, rather than the alcohol.

Monkeyboy said...

Too much alcohol sold around the station already? There is an issue of antisocial drinking around the station, although sad looking drinkers sitting on the steps is more depressing than threatening. I presume it's that rather than responsible adults drinking alcohol that worries you.

I'm not clear on Brown's bussiness case but I'm not sure it includes selling super strength cider for 49p a can. I'm more concerned about unemployed artists begging the cost of an expresso. They can get quiet violent, really.

Anonymous said...

Browns has a lot of space downstairs, bring it on!!!

bingeaholic said...

@Marie

In terms of places to drink in 'central Brockley' there is the Barge and the Orchard, and potentially Gulens though no one I know has actually ever been there. Coulgate St. will actually become a nicer/safer place at night because of it

You need your bloody head examining!

Anonymous said...

Ah a downstairs,there will be drinking long after 11 O'clock.

Anonymous said...

Love Browns, and the boys that work there are fit!

Ed CPZ said...

'You need your bloody head examining!' - you might do when the mindless bloody violence metered out by sozzled hipsters spirals out of control!

Anonymous said...

Hope there going to get an Entertainments License too.

THNick said...

Anon at 15:39, you literally need to think about the words you're using - Brockley has "virtually" no nightlife, apart from the three places you mentioned. And the various other pubs in the locale.

I agree we need to be careful with the numbers of drunk hipsters around - those fixie bikes can be lethal in the wrong hands - but I dont think Browns opening later will lead to significant anti-social problems, it's not big enough. If anything a bit more going on around the station will make it safer at night.

Anonymous said...

what three places i mentioned? i haven't mentioned any. and the "various" pubs in brockley (i'm referring to the brockley cross area here) amount to one, which is a wetherspoons.

Anonymous said...

I also miss Dandelion Blue. Out of loyalty to the Broca I've never been into Browns and never will.

Anonymous said...

Anon 17.22 - what about The Orchard?

Generally I think it'd great it we can increase the evening options in Brockley. I am definite there is enough demand for it.

And without bringing it up again I just hope that one day the council see sense and pedestrianise Coulgate Street! Sitting outside having a drink on a summer evening would be amazing.

dude said...

I had heard about this tribalism that some Broca customers have towards Browns and thought it was just a myth. Amazing how childish adults can be over coffee.

Mb said...

The broca, browns. They're both businesses. They sell stuff, we buy it. they're both trying to make a few quid and neither are charities. Don't really get the fundamentalist loyalty, although I doubt it's THAT prevalent is it?

Brockley booze bird said...

Ed CPZ 13.18....to answer your queries: yes and yes, though i do struggle to fit my big head in the place sometimes, especially when it gets busy ;-)

insider said...

this won't happen I'm afraid.
IMHO uninformed loyalty is for fools.
I tried both, browns coffee is better so I go there, it's very simple.

Anonymous said...

Can they really get an alcohol licence if they don't have toilet facilities, it does seem like a minimum requirement to me.

Bored and tired said...

Anon 17.26, what an extraordinary attitude! And by the way, you're missing out. Browns coffee wipes the floor with Broca coffee, there really is no comparison. For that reason alone, I have made an informed choice to go to Browns over Broca.

Chicken wings and other things said...

A couple of years ago, when we were young and adventurous, me and my husband decided to make it our mission to visit every place in Brockley (ok that's not everyone's idea of adventure but it kept us amused for a while). Anyway..one night we found ourselves in Gulen's nightclub. I remember being incredibly surprised at how friendly everyone was and we were even given free hot snacks. A few drinks later and I think we were having such a good time we might even have danced!

insider said...

they have a toilet downstairs

Aricana said...

Pleased to hear about Browns' plans.

Still hoping that there might be some exciting developments on the west side with the opening of Jude Court but know that's just wishful thinking.

h.s. said...

@insider
I complained to the Broca once (I had been overcharged) and they were also extremely rude to me. It's such a shame that they don't treat their customers better.

sorry for going off-subject

I don't go out for drinks often and I don't like coffee, but I wish all the best to Browns for investing in our neighbourhood :-)

insider said...

a shame my post complaining about the broca was removed. I like the staff there, I appreciate having any independent coffee shops in my local. But an honest complaint is just that.

Brockley Nick said...

@Insider, please contact me if you have any questions about our moderation policy.

Anonymous said...

If the opportunity to sit outside Browns would be at the expense of being able to drive in Coulgate St, please forget it. What would really be amazing about it? Accessing the station is far more important.

Fundamentalist loyalist said...

Great news. Hope the licence comes through. caffeine? alcohol? Bet a great gaelic coffee is in the offing.

Anonymous said...

it is possible to be customers of both browns and the broca. although i mostly chose browns as they don't burn their coffee and don't seem to cater to the parent and kids market as much...

patrick1971 said...

"Accessing the station is far more important."

Heaven forbid that you might have to walk the two or three metres from Foxberry Road rather than driving your car right to the steps.

twitch said...

I'm sure there are some that would drive their cars onto the platform if they could.

Randy Crawford said...

If Browns get a licence I hope they'll permit a drink on the pavement on a sunny day? This would increase Browns capacity to something viable and what a lovely site to welcome you home after a hard days graft and sweaty tube journey.

Call me a mung-munger but bring on Brockley street cafe culture, I say.

Ed CPZ| said...

@BBB - I suffer the same affliction in many places but haven't really given Browns much of a chance yet.

Headhunter said...

"If the opportunity to sit outside Browns would be at the expense of being able to drive in Coulgate St, please forget it. What would really be amazing about it? Accessing the station is far more important."

Either this is a troll comment or just blatant stupidity. So because you need to drive right up to the front door of the station, Coulgate Street MUST remain a car park? How ridiculous...

Anonymous said...

They will need 2 licences if they are going to do entertainment.

Anonymous said...

Patrick & Twitch

far more people use the transport links which of course include the road at Coulgate St - for many varied reasons than will ever sit out on the pavement to have a drink be it alcohol or coffee -

Heaven forbid that you might have to wander a stones throw away as far as The Toads Mouth Too, The Beer Garden at The Barge or to the pavement at The Orchard for your outside experience.

Ed CPZ said...

I get the sense that most local stakeholders would like Coulgate street to become more pedestrain friendly at the very least. It really would make a lovely people-first centre to our community in my view.

mb said...

no reason why you couldn't incorporate a 5 min drop of space or two like a million other stations, for if you have bags etc? That and residents parking could work. Brockley lacks a natural centre, Brockley Cross doesn't look like a practical option. How many people would REALLY be inconvinienced by Coulgate street being closed? it doesn't have a huge amount of parking as it is.

On balance, do it.

Anonymous said...

It would make it very creepy to walk around - esp when you come out of the station at night -and when you don't know details about the building being discussed recently. Personally I would like to see a taxi rank

Anonymous said...

I would like to see a KFC

twitch said...

far more people use the transport links which of course include the road at Coulgate St - for many varied reasons than will ever sit out on the pavement to have a drink be it alcohol or coffee -

You reckon? The vast majority of people that use the station walk there so your assumption is based on the whole commuter base which is flawed.

I reckon more people would sit outside if they could than the what, 30 cars (?) that can park on Coulgate St?

Headhunter said...

Exactly, of course there could be some kind of temporary drop off point as we've already discussed, but why do people HAVE to be able to park in Coulgate Street? No reason at all other than plain laziness...

twitch said...

Just to clarify, we are talking about providing seating just on Coulgate St and not in the station forecourt and platforms. That would be ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Pedestrianisation would not mean a 'drop off' - which would be detrimental for many people.

'The vast majority' that walk to the station are walking to a train or overground tube to use the transport system, they may well have taken a bus etc to brockley road. They are not walking to a coffee shop. The reason why people would park at coulgate st is because they are not parking outside anyone's house. What you are proposing would make travelling to the station awkward and inaccessible for some residents.

I agree it would free up the road from people parking all day if there was some limitaion on time that cars could park but I am anti cpz.

AA/RAC said...

GOD,were back on the old chestnut of what and who's cars/vans park where

Anonymous said...

I love Browns, more so for Lud than the delicious coffee. How can sitting in the sunshine with a beer be a bad thing. Boo lazy people and their cars, heaven forbid they should have to walk a few mins to their car, Jesus wept.

Anonymous said...

yeah - we live in a city of cars.
wonderful

Ed CPZ said...

Polarising issues really doesn't help anyone. 'Lazy people and their cars' - presumably this includes the disabled?

Pick a name and think before you publish!

mb said...

Disabled parking..... mind you if you have residents parking, bussiness parking, drop off points you may reduce the point somewhat.

We live in a crowded city, these things are never easy or obvious. More light and less heat is needed, I just think that the limited parking there would not be greatly missed compared to a pedestrian area. As for a taxi rank, we have better than that. We have a very good minicab office with good honest coffee.

Anonymous said...

I can vouch for Speedicars coffee being both good and honest.

Sleepy said...

As a compromise, if they made the whole of coulgate st one way there would be enough space for a large paved seating area, the minicabs and some 20minute parking bays/drop off. Many stations don't have parking directly outside, east dulwich for example and others have only residence parking for example Peckham.

As a note I'm liking what they are doing with the pavements on Brockley Road.

pippi said...

@anon 15.09

The only one of those sites that doesn't have cars and buses thundering past a few feet away is the Toad's Mouth garden, and that is usually full.

A pavement cafe/bar on Coulgate St and pedestrianisation of that area would be great! Such a small sacrifice in terms of car parking space too, it's a TINY area in the grand scheme of things. You could have a drop off area and turning point (at both ends of Coulgate St if you really wanted), and a couple of disabled parking spaces. Voila! Brockley gets its own micro-cafe culture.

To be honest, without outside drinking I can't see Browns making much money out of it - that unit's not huge, is it?

KarlM said...

This must be objected to at all cost. It will give the totally wrong opinion of Brockley. Better to leave it in its rundown state.

Anonymous said...

"Brockley gets its own micro-cafe culture"

Should that go alongside the existing cafe culture, deli culture, artisan crafts shop culture, mung-ecosystem?

Anonymous said...

Both Broca and Browns do great coffee so tribalists aren't really losing out.
As for late license, as a resident of Coulgate Street I have very mixed feelings. Whilst a nice place to drink on my doorstep seems like good fortune, I know that the reality of having to hear people making noise as they stand outside smoking will annoy me to the point of wanting to move.
If they had a policy of no drinks outside then it might be ok. But then that kind of spoils the fun on nice summer evenings.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 17.26 As said by B&T, that attitude is crazy. But @dude and @Mb, it's very true, I've heard this before, plus nasty rumours being spread.

Just be pleased there is choice and both businesses are alive and kicking. But to choose one through pure loyalty to the point of not even trying the other is mad and mean-spirited.

@Mb, I agree - having tried both, Browns coffee is more expensive but streets ahead and the owner and staff obsess about the quality. The staff are surely lovely in Broca but the Browns staff are downright good people and would probably tie your shoe laces if your hands were full.

Michelle said...

Browns is our first choice every time. Anon @ 19.29, couldn't agree more. Ross and Will are to be commended on the fact that they make the best coffee in the area (and IMHO some of the best in London!)but they also manage to do so in the most welcoming and un-pretentious way possible.

The Broca has it's place and I think it's fantastic that both establishments can exist side by side and equally appear to do very well. Each appeals to a different market.

I would LOVE it if Browns was open later. It would definitley be my first option for a glass of wine when getting off the train!

Good luck to them.

Anonymous said...

Some people use both establishments.

While Browns coffee is ahead, Broca has an enticing selection of home made cakes and more seating.

Having both places next to each other means you see from the outside if either have too many potentially annoying customers and discretely avoid them.

This is a good thing.

Brockley@Ladywell said...

The vast majority of parking on Coulgate Street is people who are too lazy to walk there before they take their train. The road is much emptier on Saturdays and almost completely free of cars on Sundays. It would be much better if the road was parking at either end and people in the middle. I know, I used to live on Coulgate Street.
Browns and Broca are both good - Erin and Ross are both lovely; I used to go to both places.
Organised drinking in a nice place on the street would be good for the area. Think how nice the street is when there are the Christmas parties.

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