The Old Haberdasher, New Cross

The Old Haberdasher
44 Lewisham Way, SE14 6NP
The Old Haberdasher is the latest incarnation of a pub that has had many names in the last few years, including one that never actually got its own sign.

Oli tried out the new place tonight and reports:

It's an improvement on the previous incarnation and has had a good lick of paint but it's not as welcoming as the Royal Albert nor has it been transformed in the same way as the New Cross House. The landlord said he was planning an ambitious menu, so I'm looking forward to that.

Please post your comments and reviews here.

65 comments:

Beer Belly said...

Any real ale?

Anonymous said...

We proposed to make this into a local cooperative pub, with a garden that supplied the kitchen and a series of curated monthly events/ freehouse with real ales. We had some serious names involved that would have been BRILLIANT pr for the area. We spent quite a lot of time doing that but enterprise inns, not realising the error of their old school ways and the fact that there are three, better pubs in the near vicinity put paid to our plans and announced their 'haberdasher' place. Ah well.Let's see how it flies...

Tamsin said...

Going past yestrerday we wondered what had become of the pictures of old Lewisham that once filled the walls. So this thread is appositely timed to ask. Hope they did not end up in a skip in the process. If the present occupiers want rid of them I can put them in touch with the Lewisham Local History bods.

Anonymous said...

As a resident of St Donatt's Road I for one am so happy to see the great refurbishment of this pub, our lives were blighted by the previous incarnation The Black Flag which almost became a private drinking den for the Vietnamese landlord and his cohorts, with many incidents of violence, tales of drug dealing, illegal parties, Police raids etc. The work they have done to create "The Old Haberdasher" is more than we could ever have have hoped for, another great addition to the New Cross pub scene. I wish them every success!

Anonymous said...

Looking fine from the outside. Please no constant boorish overloud music

Oli said...

There were four taps for real ale, but these weren't on last night (I think it opens properly tonight). The licensee runs a pub in East Croydon he said and muttered something about "New Cross" and "Shoreditch". Bar staff very nice.

patrick1971 said...

Oh is this the former Rosemary Branch? I still have happy memories of it when I first moved to New Cross and it had lots of film posters all over the walls. I went past a couple of weeks ago and saw it being done up.

subnet_247 said...

I couldn't agree more with anonymous from St Donatt's Road. The Rosemary Branch / Black Flag had become a hideous blight on the area (I'm a Lewisham Wayer), and while the noise was a real problem for us all, the rise of drug dealing and violence in the pub was a huge concern.
Slightly worried that this may just be a 'facelift' approach to the problem, but hoping that the new landlord won't let the unsavoury elements creep back in or revert to £2 a pint and pumping music to try and generate trade (it won't - it'll only drive custom away).
I'll be popping in for a pint though and hoping that we have a useable local again.

Mama Grizzly said...

Anyone know what's happened to the Grizzly Bar's plans? Their Twitter account has been dead for a couple of months now.

Anonymous said...

Whats wrong with £2 a pint.they have to try to compete with other pubs.and I'm sure students would prefer £2 a pint than £3.50 elsewhere.

mk said...

Yeah I was wondering what happened to the Grizzly Bar too. How much were pints in this place? Only problem with Albert and NX House is the overpriced drinks.

mk said...

Looking at the Enterprise Inns website, I see that the Albertine's lease is up for sale too.

Anonymous said...

While £2 a pint may encourage students, it will also encourage all the wrong elements too. And New Cross is not just a town of students, many of us residents live here 52 weeks a year, are in full time paid employment with a few quid to spare and want a civilized place to have a quiet drink. Students have many options in New Cross and Deptford if they want a cheap pint. I hope the pub is a real success (long time coming!) and hopefully it will encourage other businesses in the area to step up their game.

subnet_247 said...

The Amersham, Albert & New Cross House hardly seem to be struggling at full pub pricing and are packed with both students and locals. If the pub wants to introduce reduced prices for the student body then that's fine, but the blanket introduction of cheap nights at The Rosemary Branch saw the pub slide to the point where the clientele had become less than desirable. After last year's night of violence which saw Lewisham Way closed off with 7 police cars, 3 vans and 2 ambulances, mass complaints to the council and the eventual closure of the pub it seems to suggest that it doesn't work particularly well as a business model in this location.

Anonymous said...

As a lover of old buildings, of which there are many fine examples in New Cross, I was very happy to see what looked like a thorough restoration of this beautiful old building. Fingers crossed it's a nice place to have a quiet drink too.

Oli said...

Having chatted to the landlord I think its unlikely to sink to the previous state-of-affairs. Apparently on the first floor there were a myriad of room with ladies names above them.

Pints around the £3.50 mark- which with students only coming from families that can afford £9k+ tuition fees shouldn't be a problem for all sectors on New X.

As I said, an improvement in decor on the Pirate/vietnamese brothel-theme , but yes, I remember fondly the film posters on the walls, and that the landlord circa 2003 kept a parrot.

Matt-Z said...

Many years ago the Rosie used to be THE student pub in New Cross. It's difficult to understand how it has been a constant failure for the best part of 15 years.

I wish it well and look forward to trying it out.

By the way, cheap beer is manageable without attracting undesirables - it's currently £2.60 for a pint of Lighthouse in Jam Circus

Anonymous said...

And the trouble at the Black Flag was more down to the owner rather than the price of beer,I think the pub was only a front for there other dealings.

Deptford Dame said...

Guest beers at the Dog & Bell are routinely under £3 a pint. Matt-Z is right, it's not about the price of the beer, it's the attitude of the managers.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:16 when it was the Black Flag they were trying to create a vibrant music pub.
It was ruined by its previous owners when it was called the Gourmet Bar - who had criminal connections with the Triads and other similar criminal undereworld.

subnet_247 said...

I don't think anyone objects to ales and bitters and attracting the CAMRA crowd. Perhaps I should have more specifically pointed out the £2.50 on Fosters with late night karaoke - that was attempting to attract a very different crowd of punters.

Anonymous said...

the Gourmet Bar had triad connections - that was the problem.

The Black Flag could not get away with the fact that it had the same owner as it did when it was the Gourmet Bar.

The Black Flag management were good people and discouraged bad behaviour.
People should get their facts right before writing on here.

subnet_247 said...

I don't think anyone is having a pop at Steve or the guys involved in The Black Flag 'concept'. His nights down the Monty were great and he certainly has a passion for music which is fantastic to see and hopefully his new venture in Sittingbourne will be a great success. People are referring to the venue which unfortunately became synonymous with that name because it had The Black Flag hanging as a sign outside it up until last week.

Inspector Cleseau said...

"Triads"? someones been watching too much Taggert me thinks.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested in mk's comment that the Albertine's lease is up for sale.

I recently noticed a sign has appeared outside that says 'Over 25s only, no hoodies, ID required' which indicates they might be trying to clean up their act and attract a different clientele.

This is one of two local pubs I haven't dared step into yet (Flower of Kent being the other), as it currently gives me a feeling of uneasiness whenever I pass...

Anonymous said...

Steve Kleenex wrote about his experience at the Black Flag in New Cross on Facebook. This was posted by him about 9 months ago....

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 themed 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

TM said...

Interested to know if the failed Anon at 10.10 was the intended Grizzly Bar?

Anonymous said...

Given the final night at the Gourmet Bar owned Black Flag was a 'bloodbath' saying the Gourmet may have had triad or other similar connections is not a joke or far-fetched.

Anonymous said...

anyone remember the gay bar near New Cross station? That closed because of under world connections.

Jon said...

They seem to have opened without any publicity whatsoever. -1 already compared to New Cross House who had a mailing list and twitter feed months before and had an opening night with free drinks and food all night.

Let's give them a chance to prove themselves...but I hope they don't underestimate their competition.

Anonymous said...

I lot of pubs in SE London have had underworld conections.

The Jam Circus sits on the site of the notorious Alpha club. The Dog and Bell used to be the hang out of a crime family. The New Cross House, when it was the Goldmiths Tavern used to be colonised by a biker gang.

It is no surprise that the Vietnamese Chinese gangsters of Deptford decided to use it as their hang out. Ailing pubs are an easy target.

Taggart indeed! There are stories in these parts of south London that would make your toes curl.

patrick1971 said...

@Anon 1856, which gay bar do you mean? The Dew Drop Inn on Clifton Rise (now flats) used to be gay bar for a couple of years c. 1996-1998 before reverting to a "normal" pub for a while then shutting up permanently in about 2002.

The Paradise Bar as was (now the Royal Albert) used to run a gay night on Sundays in the late 90s.

There was also a gay venue called, I believe, the Lounge of Love in the mid-90s (before my time) on the north side of New Cross Road just down from the station in that row of terraces where the New Cross Fire happened - it's now painted black and still looks like a club but is never open. Is that the one you mean?

mk said...

Went last night. Pretty underwhelmed. Decoration is a bit drab, though the outside space is ok. Was really hoping for something with a bit of character like the Albert.

foxicus said...

Aside from its mid-90s incarnation as a successful student pub (the era of wall-to-wall film posters and cheap bar grub) this place has been pretty unappealing since its brief stint as a gay bar - anyone remember that? It was sad when the guys who ran it had to up sticks and leave - there was a really good vibe in those days. We walked past the new Haberdashers last night after sampling the revamped New Cross House for the first time and will definitely be checking this place out. It's nice to see another local being turned around (on first glance) for the better Good luck to the new proprietors!

Alex said...

Living 2 min from the pub, I went there yesterday for dinner. The food is really amazing. Very fresh ingredients, cooked at perfection with a friendly service. Will come again for food or to enjoy some beer outside or in the garden.

This refurbishment is a real bonus for the local new cross population.

Fi said...

Popped in for a drink and food on Saturday night. The place is transformed inside from the Gourmet Bar days. The decor is typical gastro pub style but done well. Good selection of drinks - it's great to have another place in New X like this (after New X House and the Albert) and see the standard of what's on offer improve.

The food was great, we treated ourselves & had steaks, scallop risotto & tried desert. The food is a little bit more expensive than other pubs in New X but it's worth it and you can tell they are buying quality ingredients. The menu was appealing with a range of things from snacks to more substantial food and a specials board too.

I think this is a promising start for this pub. With a few tweaks here and there (better choice of music, better marketing (twitter, internet etc) to attract people which would also give it more atmosphere, getting rid of the fancy laid out tables) it could do well and have it's place in the New X pub scene. Please don't go back to late night loud music, cheap drinks and a dodgy crowd!

Anonymous said...

The Rosemary Branch was gay for about six weeks, I went one unfortunate night, I recall it clearly - it was Eurovision night - we don't all love kitsch euro drivel. All the se4 pink contingent came out to celebrate, well about 30, haven't seen them since. I drew some dodgy east European country, in a raffle, the country lost and I lost out on a bottle of bubbly.

Anonymous said...

As a Lewisham Way resident, I've been saying for years that the Rosemary Branch would make a fantastic gastropub. So at last, The Old Haberdasher looks like it may be it. Done up tastefully with a welcoming interior, it looks like a classy pub which will hopefully attract a classier bunch than it's horrible predecessor pubs. This, together with the New Cross House are looking very promising indeed. Could New Cross finally be on the way up? I do hope so, as I love living there, but get so frustrated with its negative reputation as a 'shithole'. Now we just need to get some decent places to eat rather than chicken shops on every corner, then we'll be laughing. I'm hoping someone will take over that awful Garden Cafe and put a nice restaurant there. Good luck Old Haberdasher. I look forward to popping in for a drink soon!

Anonymous said...

" we wondered what had become of the pictures of old Lewisham that once filled the walls"

Can't it have pictures of a nice town on the wall?

Anonymous said...

to the "Lewisham Way" resident 18 July 2011 13:56

Why don't you go and live in Dulwich?

Danja said...

Don't worry anon, you can always move to Thamesmead if it gets too much.

IW St D said...

Went in the Old Haberdasher tonight - I live in St Donatts Rd and am so excited to have a decent pub restaurant at the end of the road after the hideous craphole it was before. It was just lovely - let's make sure we support it and it stays open!

Anonymous said...

I went there a few days ago for lunch, it was really nice and do went again for Sunday lunch, it was amazing, one of the nicest in the area and I would definitely go again. I am just really worried that if people do not support this pub then we may end up with another hell hole.... Which will be a real shame...

Anonymous said...

http://theoldhaberdasher.com/The_Old_Haberdasher/Welcome.html

subnet_247 said...

Been in a couple of times now - beer is decent (Landlord and Guinness tried) and the food is pricey but very good. The decor is nice enough and the staff are very friendly. Overall a HUGE improvement on the old days and I'll definitely be going back. Only small criticism is that I'd echo Fi's earlier comment that the music could do with being sorted out - Europop and Lady Gaga don't really match the surroundings!

Mantis said...

Hmmmn went here for the first time yesterday evening ,and we were the only people there.

The students are away so that might have had an effect but, to be honest with the clinically efficient refurb it lacks any sort of character at all. The front outside space is good, but the one at the rear is pretty drab.

As much as people say they want a gastropub (which this has pretentions to), gastropubs aren't often vibrant drinking holes.

It's a fake chalkboard kind of place. The music policy also needs a major examination. This used to be one of the busiest pubs in New X in the nineties when it was the Rosie. I can't imagine it will ever be as popular again.

theoldtrawlerman said...

Went with a couple of friends for dinner the other evening. Really excellent meal, especially the fish and seafood. I've been to both The Albert and New Cross House recently and I'd say this was by far the best venue for eating. As others have noted, it is pretty quiet but I'd hope that if they keep the standards up word of mouth will bring in more people over time. Definitely worth a visit.

ben said...

A plea to the management: please do something about the music. Let the staff put their own CDs on or something. The stuff they play sounds piped, in like I'm in a chain hotel bar. Blandly inoffensive. I'd rather be offended.

Anonymous said...

A plea to the management in case they read Ben's comment. DON'T let the staff put on their own music. DO remove the existing piped music. We don't need music in a pub, we want to talk.

We need more music-less pubs in the area.

Anonymous said...

Live next door from the Old Haberdasher and couldn't be happier :) It really is a HUGE improvement compared to the Black Flag that made our street look like a cemetery entrance. Staff is really nice and helpful. Food is simply great and it is nice to have a quiet place to hang out in New Cross! Well done to the landlords :)

Anonymous said...

Went to the Old Haberdasher last night for a pre-dinner drink and despite the inside being pretty quiet, the beer garden was busy... The drinks choice was good and I applaud the printing of beer prices on the menus. Something the New Cross House could emulate? The decor was tasteful and as we were outside I have no comment on the music. Olives were very tasty and not the normal fare you get in other pubs. A good alternative to the New Cross House and just needs a twitter feed, facebook page and all will be good. A worthy addition to New Cross.

N-BS said...

I popped in last week. It was nice enough, but the food is way too expensive, even for the professional classes. I just don't get why a burger has to be £9.99 - there's a recession on, people. We asked for menus, smiled reluctantly as we saw the prices and then walked out. That should really concern a pub manager. I am a freelance journalist, my friend is a TV producer - we aren't students, and we are quite influential within our peer groups. We would have happily spread the word if we'd loved it in there. But as yet, it lacks atmosphere and seems overpriced. Time will tell. A few cute price offers or in pub events that aren't obviously for students would help... landlords, take note.

Alex said...

@N-BS:

I disagree with you! Have you seen the price of a famous fast (bad) food menu? Nobody complains about recession there.

I think the prices of this pub are more or less 1 pound more expensive than similar places I'm used to eat in London. But the quality of the food and the taste of the dishes are really worth this little extra.

We should all encourage local businesses that shed a better light on new cross.

P&J said...

Having just moved into the local area near the Haberdasher and reading the reviews on here we decided to give it a go on Thursday evening. True, the burgers are 10 pounds, but my girlfriend described the chicken burger as "exquisite", and I have to agree it was very tasty. The lady behind the bar was very welcoming and offered a good level of courteous service. We'll be back there again.

throses said...

Just been today for dinner. I'm no expert but I enjoyed my fish n chips and my friend his steak. The service was good and staff welcoming. Theplace looks spacious and smart and it will be great in summer with the outdoor seating. Lived in New Cross for three years and I think it really is a great addition. Great for catching up with friends you want to have a conversation with.

Anonymous said...

We visited today for Sunday Lunch, hope it was because it was only 12.45 that there were only 6 other people there. Great meal the beef was so tender, great fresh veg, and decent well made gravy. Lemon posset and shortbread very special, quick service, friendly staff, shame about the music!

calm down, dear said...

Mixed views about this place. Potentially this place could be, and should be, fantastic, however it was just so so.

Went for Sunday lunch. There were just three other people there. Obviously the atmosphere was lacking, but this was further ruined by xfm radio blaring out. When you're having a leisurely Sunday roast you want to relax and listen to chilled out music or a bit of jazz.

The roast beef was good, but not enough for the amount you had to stump up. Cauliflower and cabbage cook well too. Roast tatties undercooked as were carrots and parsnips. Gravy a bit too thin. and the plates were cold. Oh and decent pepper grinder would have been nice.

On the plus side the staff were friendly.

A few tweaks is all that's needed. I hope they listen.

Anonymous said...

Haven't tried the food, so can't comment on that. However it sounds as though the prices are targetting the 'destination gastropub' market, rather than the 'casual foot traffic' market.
I've been in a couple of times, and found it very quiet, which is a shame because it's been well done-up and a nice atmosphere, and a bit worrying - I suspect the management need to do some more pro-active marketing if they want the 'destination pub' type of custom to really take off.

Deptford Dame said...

We ate there for the second time on Saturday and both meals I've had have been very good quality - tasty, freshly prepared and of a high standard for 'pub' food. The prices (which are around a tenner for the regular mains) are reasonable considering the quality of the food. However it would be a good idea if they could come up with a special offer once or twice a week to tempt in customers who are on a smaller budget - eg a pint and a burger for a tenner or something similar.
Other than that, they desperately need better marketing - they seem to be relying on passing trade which is not going to work in that location - most people pass on the bus or in cars, not so many on foot.
Agree with the comment about the music volume, if not the type of music; they certainly need to adjust it to the number of people in there.
Staff are also extremely friendly and polite, and the ales they serve are kept very well.

Anonymous said...

Yup, its new guise falls between two stools - the location means that its natural role would be as a locals' pub, but its aspiration to be a 'destination gastropub' means that it needs to be marketed much more prominently and widely, in order to lure people in from further afield. There are plenty of people who choose to walk 10 mins or so to get to the Orchard, many of whom live within a similar walk of this place. Given how packed the Orchard always is, there should definitely be some spare custom going begging among that clientele.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I had lunch here today for the first time. We live nearby and have been meaning to give it a try since it opened. I have to say the food was really very good, when I first looked at the menu i thought was was a little bit pricey but when I saw the quality of the food we were served I think the prices are justified, I would go as far as to say the food here may be the best I have had in the area but as has been mentioned here before we were the only 2 people in there which really is a shame. I do hope that business picks up for them especially when other places nearby like The New Cross House, The Albert, London Particular etc seem to be so busy. Personally I will definitely be going back..Recommended!

Anonymous said...

having just moved to the area, we really like this place, but it's never busy or even buzzing... we're starting to worry about it as it's only ever got about 10 people max in there.

the halloween night was good fun and the businest we've seen and the staff are really trying and service is excellent :O) we've eaten there quite a few times as our new house doesn't have a funtioning kitchen yet, and it's always been really good quality food. and they seem to have changed the CD this week, which is a bonus!

really hope they're doing ok - does anyone know if they're busy at lunchtimes? we don't want them to disappear!

:O)

Shards said...

Wish the place existed when we moved into the area, nearly three years without a kitchen and there was never the likes of the Old Haberdasher, nor The Talbot. Had to rely on a George Foreman lean mean grilling machine to get through the lean times of decent food places in the area.

Welcome to the neighbourhood @ anon 16:19 and if you're looking for a decent Indian takeaway, Cinnamon on Upper Brockley Road is always worth a punt - decent tasting food, delicate flavours and generous helpings.

Geoff @ Four to the 4 said...

I've enjoyed my visits to The Old Haberdasher. The food was great, though they're still failing to quite hit the 'restaurant' vibe on the head with the service and a lot of the music. I've started a new site covering the New Cross area called New Cross Net and you can read my more extensive comment on The Old Haberdasher (and, indeed, give it you're own rating if you'd like) there.

ionahm said...

Can anyone confirm if this is an Enterprise Inns pub or not?

Latest Tweets

Brockley Central Label Cloud

Click one of the labels below to see all posts on that subject. The bigger the label, the more posts there are!