The Old Haberdasher is the latest incarnation of the pub on 44 Lewisham Way, at the top of the hill leading down in to New Cross.
Previously known as the Rosemary Branch and the Black Flag, it reopened this summer , having been given a significant makeover. The result is a fine, if slightly characterless pub - like the Talbot, without the regulars to give it a sense of community. The bulk of reviews it has received elsewhere on the site deliver a consistent message: booze fine, food decent, music annoying. Most reviewers also say that while they had a good time, there were few other customers.
Our experience, drinking there for half an hour on Saturday afternoon, was that we were the only customers in that time. The staff looked understandably bored, but were reasonably friendly.
The Old Haberdasher is a little far from the main drag to catch passing trade and without a point of difference to persuade many to make a detour and too expensive to compete with the Hobgoblin for student trade.
With several good pub options nearby in New Cross town centre it faces stiff competition but the marketing and the event programme has been minimal. Given the notoriety of its predecessors, it seems a mistake not to make more people aware of how it has changed. This pub could be a great addition to the local area, but it has its work cut out.