Antic take on the Copperfield

More good news for South East London's pub scene.

Reported by Betamatt on the Catford forum, Antic (the owners of local pubs Jam Circus, the Ravensbourne Arms and the Royal Albert, among others in South East London) have taken over the Copperfield pub in Catford.

The story is confirmed by Antic, who will rename it the Catford Bridge Tavern when they reopen it.

In December 2011, The News Shopper reported that:

Drug allegations, two stabbings and concerns over sexual exploitation could put a pub’s future at risk.

Neighbours have also complained to police about customers of the Copperfield noisily staggering out of the pub in the early hours, using their walls as urinals and even women being driven about on the bonnets of cars. 

The Catford Bridge boozer, recently hit with a noise abatement notice, is currently shut while its licence is reviewed on the recommendation of police.

We await the protests that this is more unwelcome gentrification of a wonderful, old-fashioned community pub.

56 comments:

Kate said...

I think it's actually to be called the Catford Bridge Tavern....

M said...

Good stuff. That place always looked so dodgy I never went in. Hopefully the 'jerk chicken' dealers who were permanently outside will have moved on by the time it reopens.

J R Hartley said...

Brave decision and can only be good for the area, I hope they are able to get a good mix of clientele similar to the Ravensbourne Arms and that the rough elements who drank there before keep a wide berth. I try and avoid Catford due to witnessing too many unsavoury incidents in the area which always seems to have an air of menace. Although perhaps I just haven’t seen the good parts of Catford away from the main high street and stations.

D said...

This is excellent news for the area. I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

More dishonest fare on the way, sadly.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Ravensbourne is doing ok. It never seems that busy. It is quite big, though, I suppose, so it's hard to fill. I hope all you Lewisham/Ladywell/Hither Green-ites are supporting it!

Anonymous said...

I've only been to the Ravensbourne a couple of times but it seemed to be doing ok on both occasions.
I wasn't the only one in there at least...
Looking forward to the Catford Bridge Tavern as I use the station there fairly regularly so it will be easy to pop in.

heckmcbuff said...

I hope they keep the pool table(s).

Matt-Z said...

It is good news for Catford and I look forward to seeing their improvements.

However, at this rate all the pubs in the area will be owned by Antic before too long, and I'm not sure how good that is for choice. Also if they continue to expand and do well they'll be eventually be bought out by Greene King, Young's or Fuller's.

Anonymous said...

Great news that companies are seeing such potential in the area!
Any news on the fate of Masons in Ladywell? Another great place in an area for business potential. Hopefully it is snapped up by a good business and not left vacant or turned into flats/fast food.

Crofty said...

Always liked their pubs but must say have been put off by them being the owners of the site opposite the Brockley Jack, which they're trying to redevelop into a huge block of flats... they also pulled down the previous building on the site without notifying the council. Have boycotted Jam Circus ever since.

Miles said...

This news gave me much excitement this morning! I've started a new blog for Catford which I managed to update today with the news. You're welcome to check it out: http://incatford.blogspot.com/2012/01/railway-tavern.html

Anonymous said...

Women being driven about on the bonnets of cars??!! Makes Brockley seem a bit suburban.

Anonymous said...

In 20 years Catford will be as nice as Lewisham.

Anonymous said...

That used to be a great pub with a really mixed clientelle. I loved going in for a pint and a game of pool. As pubs closed around lewisham and catford and hither green this pub seemed to go down hill.

While i welcome the improvements i do hope that they manage to recapture some of the old atmosphere. We dont always want to sit quietly reading newspapers. I dont think we need ANOTHER pub in the area where half the clientell are drinking coffee.

Variety is the spice and the Antic takeover could lead to the homogenisation of all our locals.

Anonymous said...

It does seem to contribute to the mungrification of the area, sadly.

What happened to real pubs?

dude said...

pubs claiming to be 'real' tend to go bust.

Mb said...

Richard, the ex landlord of the Albert and jam circus wil be running it. Nice chap who knows how to run a pub. Agree about diversity but given a choice between a failing pub closing and a viable one I know what I'd choose.

oryx said...

The Ravensbourne was nicely full without being packed when we went in last Friday.

Catford needs a decent pub - if there is one (excluding this refurb) I must have blinked and missed it.

We went to the Goose not that long ago - it was cheap and the bar staff were friendly. Shame that the evening's entertainment was a mass brawl!

Looking forward to trying this new one.

Matt-Z said...

Mb is he the bloke who looks like the comedian Tony Hawks?

Ossie said...

When was the link between Antic and the site opposite the Brockley Jack established? I thought it was something to do with Tesco. Have I missed something?

TM said...

It appears from the Antic web site that they are also taking on the Greyhound next to Sydenham station.

Three stops from Brockley on the Overground.

naomi said...

Does anyone know what is planned for the old pub that has recently been demolished on Algernon Road? i think it was called the Crown.

Brockley Nick said...

Hi Naomi

According to the discussion on the forum, The Crown and Anchor will become flats:

http://www.southeastcentral.co.uk/threads/the-crown-and-anchor-pub-brookbank-algernon-road.985/

Crofty said...

Ossie, this was established when Antic's owner, who owns the site opposite the Jack, spoke at a public meeting about the redevelopment there last year. One of his arguments to be given planning approval was that he had so many local businesses. The plan was to lease out the ground floor of the redevelopment to a retailer, which was rumoured to be Tesco,

Lady in the Well said...

I was very excited to see some ladders and some big tubs of paint inside Masons yesterday.

Ossie said...

Thanks for the update Crofty.

Anonymous said...

No decent pubs? What about the Blythe!

mk said...

Antic are fast approaching monopoly status on pubs round these ends aren't they?

Anyone know what's happening with Albertines?

DJ said...

Antic have big plans. I know they have plans for pubs in Bromley and Elephant and Castle too.

Anonymous said...

Back in the 80s that pub on Algernon featured on a weekly programme about trendy London presented by Hugh Laurie. The pub was the centre of a car-racing scene. Owners of American muscle cars would meet there and race around the local streets late at night for pink slips supposedly. I heard them, but never saw them.

NAT said...

Anon12.52 The Blythe is a best kept secret best kept. ssshhhh.

St Dunstan said...

Are we talking about the Blythe Hill Tavern?

Anonymous said...

'Catford needs a decent pub'. I'm glad about the news of the Catford Bridge Tavern, but let's not forget that Catford already has by far the best pub in this whole area: the every wonderful and friendly, Blythe Hill Tavern, which has won lots of CAMRA awards in the past.

BB Roader said...

@Brockley Nick and Naomi, well, contrary to the person's comments on the SE forum, the Crown & Anchor has been comprehensively knocked down and is now a hug and very dangerous-looking hole in the ground. I have lived on Brookbank Road for 10 years and have never seen any information, planning applications attached to lamp posts or anything with regard to the old pub but on the grapevine I have certainly heard it's going to be flats. I'm just surprised
they can leave it as it is with just a rickety metal fence around it as it would be quite some fall for someone - I didn't realise it had such a big basement! I went in a couple of times - it was a real sticky-carpet pub full of staring locals as dogs. No great loss in itself, but I'm not that happy about yet more flats being thrown up (especially when I wasn't
even aware of it).

BB Roader said...

Sorry. iPhone. It's a huge hole, and the pub was full of staring locals and dogs. They weren't pretending to be dogs or anything.

Tamsin said...

Oh, don't correct it! Love the surreal notion of "staring locals as dogs". Like that slightly freaky American artist who draws dogs playing poker and the like.

Robert said...

BB - there was an original consent for the Crown and Anchor site in 2007, with some amendments last year (DC/10/74992).

I have to say, the designs do not look encouraging.

TM said...

BBR you need to look at application DC/07/65433/X.

It is for 5 two bedroom and 2 three bedroom flats. It will be five years old soon, so you may have missed it.

I recall seeing a yellow notice in the window at the time.

There was a second application for even more flats but that was withdrawn I think.

Has work started on the old Mersh garage site yet?

oryx said...

Never been to the Blythe Hill Tavern, but have been meaning to go there for the five years I've lived around here, such are the good things I've heard about it.

(secretly, I just wanted to do a post to say how much I LOVE the idea of the locals in the former Crown and Anchor pretending to be dogs......)

NAT said...

I'm sure many of the Talbots canine locals would go along with that..to see where that walk might lead.

The Blythe would be the a model for what The Wickhm might be if it were blessed with such excellent proprieters.

TM said...

Are dogs allowed in Antic pubs?

Anonymous said...

Peeked through the windows yesterday - the builders are in and tearing the place apart. Aiming to open next month apparently.

Catford Bridge Tavern said...

Richard of Catford Bridge Tavern here, thought I'd reply to the comments above - pleased to see news reached Brockley and I'm really looking forward to opening the doors. In short it will be a pub, but with high quality food - we'll focus on ale, cider and food. Staff will be chosen for being decent and sociable people. I could say a lot more, but it would sound the same as every new pub's guff. Ask any questions... (One thing I'll answer - not too worried about trouble, trouble tends to move on with change of owner, as seen at Alpha Club/Jam Circus and Paradise Bar/Royal Albert)

Matt-Z and Anon 11/1 21.32 hear what you're saying about homogenisation and lack of choice, but the strength of Antic and the reason I work for them is the autonomy - managers are trusted to get on with it and do things however they feel is best in the area (within some parameters). I've been spending days on end deciding the ales and bottled beers I'll sell, what price to sell at, how many taps to have, what ales to sell on the first day, etc. The same goes for the chef - they have full control of their menus. (Some customers will drink coffee sometimes, most won't most of the time). Newspapers will be available.

@Heckmcbuff Pool tables are gone, sorry.

@Mb thanks. @Matt-Z I look nothing like Hawks.

@TM: dogs allowed

2x anons re: dishonest fare and mungrification. Really? Perhaps wait until we have opened and you have paid your first visit. Call me dishonest after that if you like. We might sell mung beans at times, we might not. (For record - at least one beer will be less than £2.80)

Cheers

@catfordtavern

kolp said...

Will there be Sunday roasts on the menu? And how much will they cost?

Catford Bridge Tavern said...

@kolp yes there will. around £10-£13. Chef says there will absolutely be cauliflower cheese too.

kolp said...

ok good stuff, thanks, i'll be sure to check it out give my verdict!

Catford Bridge Tavern said...

@kolp Please do, feedback will be very useful in the early days

LyndseyG said...

as a resident of Catford, we are really happy with the news of the Catford Tavern opening. The Copperfield would be fine of a Saturday lunch, but not in the evening. There wasn't a good vibe. The Ravensbourne seems to have really taken off. We were delighted when it opened and plenty of people seem to come, there is a lovely vibe, food is reasonably priced as are drinks (plus I love LOVE that they do wine by the glass in a proper small 125ml as well, so many places don't now). We moved to Catford last year from Peckham, where our local was The Tiger (another Antic pub). That area has really taken off now and we have high hopes for Catford. I am not saying ''please can we have a Starbucks'', far from it, just a few good places which will please the locals and bring in some new faces to an area a lot of people, even south east Londoners, turn their noses up at.

Anonymous said...

As a Lewisham employee, based in Catford, I cannot tell you how excited I am about this pub reopening!! Whilst the Catford Ram has its charms the idea of somewhere to go for a swift half after work with a garden and food and everything is amazing. So, the question is: WHEN ARE YOU OPENING??!!!!! :)

M said...

March 1st was the date I heard.

Catford Bridge Tavern said...

@anon and @M March 1st is correct, 6pm onwards. We're really looking forward to it, it would be great if you could make it down

Anonymous said...

I really was excited when I saw e CBT opening. I've been at least ten times is once it opened and I enjoy the range of real ales...that's all the positives (I've not tried the food but the menu is tempting)

The thing i don't like and will prevent me popping in on my way home is the staff. Smile? Greeting? Make you feel welcome...sadly all non existent. I popped in to it on the way home this evening, there's one person behind the bar serving (slowly) and another fiddling around in the main room of the bar. No one greeted us while we waited, no one said they'd be with us in a minute...just ignored. This has happened on previous visits and I've gritted my teeth and put it down to teething problems and given them the benefit of the doubt. So I saved myself the price of a pint and you guys lost a customer.

For my money, I'd rather go the extra five minutes to the Blythe Hill. Friendly staff, usually about three on duty JUST to serve beer, fits like a comfy pair of slippers...perfect pub really

Sorry CBT. I gave you loads of chances .....

Catford Bridge Tavern said...

@Anon 19/6 17:28

I'm sorry to hear that, whenever a link appears to a comment about the pub online I'm usually pleased to find it's a positive review. In fact I think this is our first negative one.

What you bring up - being greeted at the bar - is a bugbear of mine in the service industry. For such a seemingly simple effort it can make people feel that much more welcome. As such the staff and I chatted about this recently. It's no excuse, but it's not always as simple as it seems. I'm sorry you seem to have had bad experiences but I can say hand-on-heart that the bar staff are the most pleasant and diligent people I've yet worked with. The lady not serving at the time I'm sure was doing something important in the dining room and wouldn't have made an active choice to not serve customers. The lady behind the bar is still gaining experience and it takes a fair bit of confidence to greet everybody waiting when you have a little queue develop.

Being as we are by the train station, town hall and council offices, we can never be sure how busy early evenings will be - sometimes there will be surges and unfortunately a little wait at the bar.

Again, I'm sorry you felt you didn't want to stay for a drink. The Blythe Hill Tavern is a wonderful pub (my regular) and is very welcome to any custom we miss out on. They have decades of experience under their belts, whereas our pub has been open for a little over three months, including the work that is involved in maintaining a changing range of ales, full homemade menu and table service.

We have areas to improve, and that will always be the case. Thank you for the comments, I will look at what we can do. I hope you feel you can pop in for a beer again soon (or food even), and please do introduce yourself if you do. Feedback is always welcome in person.

Thanks

Richard

Anonymous said...

Don't worry CBT, my wife popped in Saturday and emerged grinning and saying what a wonderful pub, the best in SE London she said, and she's an expert.

Lindy said...

I have heard there's a planning application to convert the Catford Bridge Tavern into flats & shops. I think we should try to save this historic old pub, by emailing planning@lewisham.gov.uk quote DC/12/81142/X, with your name , address & comments.

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