Alby seeing you

The Zippos Circus posters of death have appeared in the windows of the business formerly known as Alby's Place on Brockley Road.

Equipment and furnishing from the "restaurant" was cleared several weeks ago and a notice appeared in the window, saying that the owners were applying for retroactive planning permission for all the features they'd installed that didn't comply with their approved application. Alby's name has been removed from above the front door.

The Circus posters are the surest sign that a business has closed and won't be coming back.

Despite plastering the windows with the word "restaurant", Alby's Place never operated as such. CCTV cameras monitored the locked front doors and members of the public were not allowed in in the evenings. All of which makes it difficult to mourn its loss.

So it looks like we are basically back to square one with this restaurant space, which occupies a key plot in the centre of Brockley. With The Orchard, The Gantry, Mo Pho and Nu Spice flourishing and businesses like City Noodles and The Brockley Barge continuing to do brisk trade, there's no doubt this is a prime spot that could be a massive success in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing and is prepared to run it as a restaurant.

As its neighbours have raised their game, this unit has turned from tragedy to comedy. The owners, Biagio, need to find a proper tenant or sell the freehold to someone who will.

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't get all the stuff with the scare quotes - it wasn't a "Restaurant", it was a Restaurant. I went in there, had a meal and paid for it. Others didn't go in because of conservation guidelines or somesuch.

Robert said...

Anon. We didn't go in because the doors were locked in the evening.

I'm interested to know how you managed to get in - and what was your meal like?

Did you plump for the John Dory?

Welcome to 2012 said...

@Anon - you are a joker

WTF said...

I hope they're told to stick their retrospective planning permission up their retrospective arses.

Anonymous said...

A blessing of the undisguised variety.

Anonymous said...

A Pizza Hut would be good there.

eat itself said...

I love the distinction between the places that 'flourish' and those that are doing 'brisk trade' - beyond parody...

Anonymous said...

Good point, Eat Itself. It's as if local businesses are being split into the "mung" and the "mung-nots".

For the hard of thinking said...

Flourish refers to the relatively new ones. Brisk trade to the ones that have been here a long time.

Language, innit.

eat itself said...

They are not mutually exclusive terms - a business may both flourish AND do brisk trade. Nor does either term have an inherently temporal connotation. Your understanding of language and of the nuances of context seems somewhat limited, 'hard of thinking.'

rack off said...

A steak house or Nandos please.

For the hard of thinking said...

@Eat Itself - yeah, they're not mutually exclusive. But read it carefully before you describe things as beyond parody, because you risk sounding like a wally.

It says the new ones are flourishing (ie: have got busier) while the old ones are *continuing* to do a brisk trade (ie: have always been busy). That's the distinction being made.

You really are desperate to see snobbery wherever you can.

eat itself said...

Hello, finds-it-hard-to-think-er...

I'm not desperate to see snobbery at all; I'm interested in the nuances of language, the use of languages in various contexts. It's not a hard science, there are no absolutes, and I think we've both (fairly) clearly stated our interpretations of the language in question. I don't think any kind of interesting discussion is going to 'flourish' between us, so I'll stop here.

Brockley Nick said...

Well Eat Itself since you don't think you'll reach an agreement, I am happy to confirm that FTHOT read it right.

Hope that settles the matter. Yours was a fascinating bit of pedantry but all good things must come to an end.

Anonymous said...

The long-asked-for KFC would go a treat in that spot I feel.

Not the good food guide said...

Perhaps anon has one of those bowls of pasta for a tempting £14 pounds. I too would like a full description, did you book ahead? Did you knock on the door and hope they could squeeze you in? Did you invent the story to be obtuse?

Anonymous said...

A quality pizza place please

Anonymous said...

What about Pizza East? One of those there would be uh-mazing!

http://www.pizzaeast.com/

Anonymous said...

Speaking of raising their game. I think the standard in Brockley is now quite high. I went to the Gantry the other night and was very impressed. A great addition to the area.

Brockley Michael said...

Mentioned to Ottolenghi staff (Islington branch) that a place called Brockley exists, and doesn't yet have an Ottolenghi.

Bring me meringues.

Anonymous said...

Ottolenghi in Brockley? I wish! That would be amazing ...

Anonymous said...

We already have excellent pizza - Dominics.

Anonymous said...

Dominics is nice, but it's in the "fast food" delivery pizza category. We mean a nice pizza place to actually go to and sit down and eat. (and stone oven baked)

Anonymous said...

Do you need planning permission for a brothel now? Ffs...

terrencetrentderby said...

cigar club please, no women or irish.

Anonymous said...

I hear Nandos serves a mean honest meal.

Anonymous said...

You can sit down and eat in Dominics and they are cooked in an oven.

Tim said...

You could. Wouldn't be a great night out, would it?

Anonymous said...

If you had quality company to go with your honest fare, you couldn't go wrong.

Tim said...

I do have quality company. But taking them to Dominics would not make the happy

mmm said...

What's wrong with Dominics Tim? They have free wifi.

Anonymous said...

Brockley could do with a proper sit down Italian style restaurant.

Carluccios, come to Brockley!

Ian on The Hill said...

I've often thought that a restaurant employing economic cuts of meat to provide a value-for-money meal would work well. Something like chicken, which then could be flash cooked in hot oil and served with pomme frites.
I'm sure we could do with one of those.

Anonymous said...

That might be a bit too fancy for the simple folk in these parts.

Anonymous said...

Well Alby is offered at 70k of rent per year. Call Biagio and he will be more than happy to give it to anyone prepared to pay his price.

Brockley Nick said...

Sure. Although if he doesn't get any takers, maybe he should reconsider his price. 70K a year for a small restaurant that needs a lot of work sounds quite high. Better to drop your price than sit on an empty unit for another three years. 0 x 70k < 3 x 60k.

Anonymous said...

Way over priced!

Robert said...

I imagine Mr Biagio's rental valuation includes the rooms above the restaurant. From memory, there are about eight ensuite bedrooms.

FrFintonStack said...

"I don't get all the stuff with the scare quotes - it wasn't a "Restaurant", it was a Restaurant. I went in there, had a meal and paid for it. Others didn't go in because of conservation guidelines or somesuch."

Isn't it facinating that the same anons who drone on about "mung" this and "dishonest" that appear to have no problem with paying £14 for a bowl of mushroom pasta in a "restaurant" that isn't open to the public?

I was standing outside the place a couple of weeks ago. Two blokes were looking in the window:

Bloke 1: [something inaudible]
Bloke 2: I think you're right, bruv, that ain't no restaurant!
Blokes 1 and 2: [loud laughter]

Oh, and Dominics is crap.

Tim said...

Tell us what you had and I might believe you

kolp said...

Btw in terms of "good new businesses" that have opened locally recently. Bird of Paradise gets woefully underlooked.
This place serves, healthy, delicious meals, consistently and with a smile. Apart from me I don't anyone has mentioned the place or been there.

They tried to go on twitter but aren't too web savvy as such they are completely overlooked. It's like paralympics, just as good but overlooked.

Anonymous said...

where is the property advertised for rent? is alby's over?

FrFintonStack said...

I'll second Kolp on Bird of Paradise. I've only been once, but the prices were decent and both the food and service were top notch.

Anonymous said...

Where is this Bird of Paradise place and what is it?

Anonymous said...

Ah, the rooms.

That would have been the previous plan for it to be a hotel or hostel of some sort.

I do wish someone would do something with this property. Judging by the stopping and starting of work on the place, there seem to be a lot of half cocked business plans.

FrFintonStack said...

"Where is this Bird of Paradise place and what is it?"

Caribbean place on Brockley Road, near St Andrew's church. I was chatting to the couple who ran it: the guy's from Barbados and the woman from Jamaica, but they say they take influences from all over the Caribbean and don't want it just to be seen as a Jamaican place. I had the chicken stew and the mutton curry, both of which were great.

NAT said...

Thanks for the reccomendation Kolp and Fr. Frinton. Look forward to trying it at the weekend.

kolp said...

you are welcome Nat.

One thing about the food, it's "fusion" the cook trained in Europe, in that Cordon Bleu style, (I think) hence the quality and service.

So it's Caribbean/European.

NAT said...

Probably the best West Indian takeawey I've ever had, though three of us plumped for the same curried mutton.
Maybe 3 Ackee n' Saltfish next week.
They deserve any publicity that comes their way.

Mezzer said...

Completely agree with the commments about Bird of Paradise. Wonderful place.

Anonymous said...

Adding to the Bird of Paradise lovers, though kolp I think you'll find there are a couple of articles about it with many favourable reviews, so it's not massively overlooked. Nor were the paralympics in my experience either.

kolp said...

Is that you Nick, hiding under an Anon?

Tin foil hat said...

Kolp, stop overestimating the significance of your opinions. Just because lots of people take issue with you doesn't mean you are the loan voice speaking truth to power, it could just be that you get people's back up. The piers Morgan of posters.

kolp said...

" it could just be that you get people's back up."

Don't be so ridiculous! People LOVE me here. I am the Colonel Gaddaffi of this site!!!

Anonymous said...

@kolp In case you missed the review article:
http://brockleycentral.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/bird-of-paradise-brockley-road.html

You'll also notice a not massive amount of articles on a lot of other great useful local businesses. Doesn't mean they are overlooked. How about Sid's plumbers, Terry's All Locks, Rosie's Florists, Hungry Horace, Neroli, The tech shop, even Mr Lawrence? These are not getting the articles either and to be honest shouldn't get articles as there is nothing new to say. Bird of Paradise isn't singled out.

Each week we shouldn't have a "Oh, remember there's shop X" post so that it gets coverage, articles should be based on their own merit. Do something differently/interesting, get an article. Keep doing the same as usual and what people know about, don't get an article. Simple.

Or it could be that Nick has a vendetta against most businesses in the area and only loves Alby's Place (by far the most recent coverage on this site)?

Anonymous said...

It is true though that most of the hippy places get a good writeup and are constantly listed under things that are good about Brockley, while anyone selling honest fayre gets shunned.

Anonymous said...

someone sounds like a student looking for a revolutionary cause to protest about but hasn't really looked further than the local takeaway.

Bless said...

'hippy places'. Alright grandad, back to bed now.

Anonymous said...

Well Albys is still up and running from what I've seen. The lights are on in the evenings, upstairs and downstairs, and there were men inside the bar area Shen I went past earlier this week & the door was open.
So I think this blogpost is a bit over optimistic.

Anonymous said...

I've been served several times since Alby's opened, I don't know why this place keeps saying it's shut. Vested interests?

Westsider said...

Anon0845, you're a liar.

Anon0839, there probably are people still using the property from time to time, but it ain't a functioning business.

Tressilliana said...

He doesn't say he was served with food.

Anonymous said...

Sigh... it was food, just not an organic muffin so of little interest to those on here

Liar, liar pants on fire said...

What did you have? What I'd it cost? A £14 bowl of pasta must be special, overpriced I'd say. Would exclude a vast swath of Brockley folk. Economic apartheid of the sort I'm sure you would level toward the new cafes around here.

Or you made the story up.

Anonymous said...

Panfried chicken and chips, my partner had the steak

Westsider said...

"panfried" - that's almost as bad as "artisan" in the trolls' book of unforgivably middle class words. No BC troll would ever order such a thing.

Also you're now talking as though you went there once. But you started by saying:

"I've been served several times since Alby's opened"

Busted.

Trolling score: C-

Anonymous said...

I'm talking about the last time I went, you cretin. I tend not to keep a log of each and every time I visit a restaurant.

Westsider said...

Yes, sure. And when was the last time you went? Were there any other customers?

Pinocchio said...

Did you book ahead or did you hammer on the door until they let you in? Chicken and chips, really.

Or you dreamt it....or made it up

Anonymous said...

It's Alive!

Workmen have been seen busying themselves under sign that suggests Albys Place will become

Villa Toscan

Are we witnessing the birth pangs of an Italian restaurant?


Anonymous said...

Already was an Italian restaurant.

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

Indeed, that site has been the site of an Italian restaurant in the past. Though, sadly, not for a few years now.

Will Brockley be soon treat to the aroma of freshly baked pizza?

It has been too long.



Anonymous said...

Alby's is/was also an Italian.

Mondee said...

Villa Toscan?? I don't hold out much hope that they can cook Italian food in that case. Clearly can't write it.

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