Raise the red lanterna

It's happening. La Lanterna is reopening.

Speculation about the return of the Brockley Road restaurant was followed by sightings of new kitchen equipment and now, confirmation from the builders that they are aiming to open within days. Which, from the outside, seems optimistic. Or worrying.

72 comments:

Moi said...

No way. Optimistic, and worrying.

Anonymous said...

Lick of paint and a hand painted sign - bingo, ready to open.

Running Nutter said...

I hope the food is better than it was. It was lazy and expensive

CPR said...

With the Orchard and Gantry as competition, hopefully La Lanterna will raise their game.

Brockley Michael said...

I had a peek inside yesterday. It looks more like a bar than a restaurant. The chairs are not restaurant chairs. Though a cooker was unloaded and brought in while I was there, so evidently they will do food of some kind.

There's an entrance area that still needs work, and of course the frontage, but inside the decor is largely in place.

No idea if there's an area outside at the back - it's very dark and only has the front windows for natural light.

@HighStreetBen said...

Its really hard to work out what is going on inside - does anyone know anyone from La Lanterna who would be prepared to comment and give us all some more clues?!

I saw some chunky black leather chairs going in, too

I hope its more italian restaurant cafe/ pizzeria, than cafe just for the hostel residents/ guests??

Anonymous said...

The Gantry better watch out - this place is gonna raise the bar even further.

TheOracle said...

It's a speakeasy.

@HighStreetBen said...

... the new Carluccio's?!

Anonymous said...

Along these lines?

http://www.timeout.com/london/feature/936/londons-best-speakeasies

Brockley Jon said...

Is it definitely going to be open to the public? So far they've confused people by deciding it would be a hostel and now it seemingly isn't, and annoyed people with the random frontage. Look at The Orchard & The Gantry - all engaged with the local community and this blog. What about a sign in the window? Nobody knows what it is and when it will open. La Lanterna - are you out there?

@HighStreetBen said...

I've tried before - but the best I got was "open by Christmas 2011" in the past so plans obv changed..

info@biagio.co.uk

This is what the website states:

"The newest restaurant to be added to the Biagio group. Situated next to Brockley Train Station Biagio La Lanterna is based on the same concept as our other West End London restaurants. This has always been to serve traditional Italian cuisine of a very high standard, but at an affordable price. With an extensive ala carte menu, and serving probably the best pizza's in the South East of London. We guarantee that your evening will be of the very highest of standards.
La Lanterna is currently closed for refurbishment!"

@HighStreetBen said...

Actually, just emailed them myself asking them to respond to everyone on this blog (gave them the link) - really hope they can do (and to be buying a decent pizza there soon)!

Anonymous said...

They probably don't give a bugger about this blog

@HighStreetBen said...

@ Anon 19 June 2012 10:37 - think you're probably right, but worth a try!

mung off said...

Don't blame them.

fattyfattyyumyum said...

Wish this bunch of jokers would just rent it to Carluccios or Pizza Express and be done with it. Brockley needs at least one decent restaurant chain to satisfy local cravings.

Ben H said...

Give it a chance people!

Anonymous said...

@fattyfattyyumyum

nooo! that's the WORST thing they could do. Brockley is great beacuse of it's individuality! Lets not turn it into another boring chain of chains!

Anonymous said...

Agree Anon but would still like a Nandos or similar honest establishment.

FattyFattymungmung said...

@ Anon - I agree too I don't want the entire place to be only chains, but I would still like a couple of them in SE4 mixed in with the decent independents which we already have, just to have the choice on my doorstep. Plus a Pizza Express or Byron or something would generate more footfall as unfortunately people are attracted to what they recognize...but then whilst here they could discover the great independents which they don't.

Tressilliana said...

Anon 10:48, nothing stopping you or any other satisfied customer contributing a review - that's how it usually works here.

That blurb quoted from the Biagio website is unchanged from years and years ago when they first bought the place. 20 years ago it was quite a decent traditional Italian restaurant. It would be good to have something similar there now.

Anonymous said...

Would be nice to mix in some quality chains with our rather unspectacular independents. Independent fetishists may disagree.

Anonymous said...

Errrrm the reviews online for the Biagio Resturants don't look promising.

Hope they've upped their game!

I will give it a chance.

Lady in the Well said...

I agree with fattyfattymungmung. I'd love a Pizza Express, Strada or Wagamama.

I'm also desperate for someone to do something with Masons.

Bring on the chains!

Anonymous said...

Less CPZ, more KFC!

Lady in the Well said...

no KFC though!

and before anyone calls me mung, I had a dirty KFC for lunch today.

In Bluewater though, I'm a KFC Nimby.

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with an honest chicken and chips lunch.

Urgh said...

Pizza Express, Strada, Wagamama etc produce tasteless slurry. I've had my fill from these places, and judging by the amount of BOGOF deals they do so has everyone else.

Ben H said...

Bit libelous, I quite like them, freshly cooked food from open kitchens in most of the places I have been.

Most restaurants do midweek deals now, tough times. You just sound like a snob.

Tim said...

Slurry is strong. I happen to quite like Wagamama. The other two are boring, at worst. What is wveryone's favourite chain? Mine is Wahaca.

LC said...

Tim- I like Wahaca too!!But they will never come to Brockley, as they don't tend to do neighbourhoods, more central locations. I also like Byron burger & Nandos. Although not quite a chain, Pizza East/Pizza East Portobello are delicious, maybe its time for a Pizza Southeast?! I agree that Pizza Express & Strada (& Prezzo) are boring but saying that if they came to Brockley I'm sure I would make some mid-week visits. The only chain I really don't like is Yo!Sushi, but that's more because I don't like seeing the food go round & round (yes I know the plates are covered but it still seems sad and unhygienic to me!) than because I think the food is bad.
But, back to La Lanterna, I'm glad it is finally opening and fingers crossed it will be good but what is being said on here doesn't fill me with hope! In an aside I went to The Gantry on Sunday & it was really good food & the staff were so friendly, The Orchard take note.

Lady in the Well said...

I think it's quite delicious slurry.

Anyway, you're wrong because if it was rubbish there wouldn't be a chain of any of them.

Tim said...

You are wrong because you don't account for fact that most of population have terrible taste!

Brockley Michael said...

On a related note, I've never seen Gulens open. The bar/club bit, I mean. Is it some kind of private members' strip joint or something?

Lady in the Well said...

Ok Tim, you are right and most of the population are wrong.

Tim said...

Most of the population are in favour of Capital punishment. Just saying ...

Anonymous said...

I saw beds being moved in. Is it a coincidence they open an Hostel just before the Olimpics? Probably trying to make a fast buck on the back of tourists.

"Family run designer Boutique hotel with award winning restaurant, 15 minutes from the Olimpic site. Double rooms from £1000 a night, breakfast included"

I bet you some guest may be in for a surprise...

Anonymous said...

Nothing like brockley central for my post-work class-war fix.

But back to the topic... I also saw chairs that would hint that they are not planning a replica of what came before. Black and red leather arm chairs. Hmmmm

I'm not good at eating pasta without a table between my mouth and knees. Won't be going wearing white.

But, I do hope their attitude to clients changes from what was there before. The last time I ate there, two young black men came in and the waiter told them it was closed. then an older white couple came in and were seated straight away. I almost chocked on my pasta pollo. Let's hope they have improved considerably.

Anonymous said...

Well, the entrance is now Black and Red... is this a theme?

Anonymous said...

If chains came to Brockley then rents would go up and push out the independents. If you want chains go to Greenwich or Dulwich.
Give La Lanterna a chance and stop being so negative. But perhaps the moaners want it to fail so they can be right.

Anonymous said...

What the hell is wrong with trying to make money off the olympics?

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong, but it could mean that it will not stay open after the Olimpics

Anonymous said...

Hmm doubt that would be worth it for just a few rooms for a couple of weeks

Maypole Drinker said...

The rumour across "West Brockley" (that's the part of SE4 where the great unwashed live) is that is going to be a w(h)ine bar.

Where are the "Friends of the Maypole" when you need them?

Anonymous said...

It had better sell ale etc.

Anonymous said...

"Pizza Express, Strada, Wagamama" - chain restaurants for the middle classes.

Anonymous said...

I went to Biaggio in Soho last night - I saw it and thought I'd try it ... The food was "ok", but the place was really run down and downstairs was a bit of a mess and dirty. Hopefully Brockley is going to be a bit better ...

Inverted Snob said...

In my opinion it is good to have a choice between chains and independents. A Pizza Express would be popular as their concept is fantastic but an Italian restaurant would have little to fear if they sold good traditional rustic fair and got the decor and service right. McDonalds do what they do and they serve a certain market but again, a good independent burger/grill place with the right ambience would do well if they got it right. The chains often make eating out affordable for some of the less well off people in our community - think KFC and Nando's. There are plenty of units around Brockley where independent operators could open their businesses.
Just because a couple of chains move in, doesn't automatically mean that independents close down or get priced out of the market. One only needs to look at Blackheath, Dulwich and Clapham to see that. You just need to get your business plan and concept right and if you're good and consistent people will come.
Unfortunately though, as soon as Pizza Express or Strada get mentioned the old Class Warriors rear they're ugly heads!

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, my understanding is that the new La Lanterna is going to be more "wine bar" than "restaurant".

Anonymous said...

Any news on the integrity of the fare Nick?

TheOracle said...

Will the Red La Lanterna soon be renamed The Black Lanterna?

Node said...

Jeez does it really make you a class warrior to say that you find chain restaurants bland? I'm sick of seeing the usual suspects on every corner and in every new development. You don't get this suffocation of chain restaurants in New York, everywhere has unique neighbourhood joints for every budget and fantastic they are too. Depressing that people see a chain restaurant as something to aspire to.

With regards to being good for people on low incomes, by the time these places have up-sold you everything it isn't that cheap any more!

Anonymous said...

Best chain is Angus Steakhouse.

DJ said...

Welcome to London, Anonymous. Leicester Square is supercool yah?
P.S. Wanna buy a bridge?

Anonymous said...

I prefer Garfunkels fare, as recommended by Brockley Nick.

DJ said...

Food. It's called food.
Calling it fare makes you sound like the kind of wanker that wears a wacky bow tie and quotes Monty Python sketches in the pub.

Anonymous said...

I think that's exactly the kind of person he or she is!

Anonymous said...

According to Tripadvisor their other restaurants are:
4,801st, 7,155th, 7,152nd and 5,084th out of 9,968 restaurants in London.

I'm not exactly hopeful. The fact that they seem to be going down a drink route may well be for the best.

Anonymous said...

Having walked past and seen the decor which looks like a mid 90s hotel bar, I doubt this is going to be a great new destination.

max said...

Mid 90's? Does that already count as retro?

Anonymous said...

That and Gulens makes that row of shops a real destination.

david said...

La Lanterna certainly used to sell the best pizza in south-east London, so that's no lie (albeit a very old piece of marketing) and always was the best of the chain. Sure, it went rapidly downhill around 2006-7 then promptly closed. Give them chance.

By the way, on the chain war, this IS a chain!

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

Give it a chance Mystic Meg

david said...

1648, How on earth are you calling that? It's not even open yet!

Anonymous said...

just in time for the england italy game

Anonymous said...

I am afraid this is going to be a step back for Brockley.

Anonymous said...

Brockley is already drowning in the boring retail swamp, how could it get worse from an empty unit on a mediocre parade?

Brockley Nick said...

Whatever the new place is like (and I am not especially optimistic), it cannot be a step backwards compared with the rotting vacant unit it has been for the last few years ago.

Anonymous said...

... an empty property is not nice but has potential.

A bad development does not have potential.

On the high street we had 2 step forward the Gantry and Gentle Elphant.

I wonder who is going to rent the rooms upstairs.

Anonymous said...

... They certainly seem very concern about privacy. They follow the Gulens design of blinding windows.

I bet you it will be full of yummy mummies at lunch time. They can also take a nap upstairs if the eat too much.

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