From Peckham and Brixton to Bermondsey and Waterloo, South London is criss-crossed with beautiful brick railway arches that now brim with cafes, bars and restaurants. Deptford's are not and the area is the poorer for it. But Buster Mantis aims to put all that right, while creating something that should prove to be a huge draw for the area.
My family and I are in the process of opening a bar under the railway arches in Deptford. Not the new Deptford Project ones, the other ones down the alleyway under the platforms.
After far too long spent searching for the perfect premises in the perfect place, this photograph shows the dusty old warehouse that will soon be our bar. And it’s pretty damn big.
Buster Mantis will be a bar, café and creative space underneath two arches. The first will house the bar / dining area, the second the 'creative space'.
We've been inspired to open Buster Mantis as we have simply yet to see anything else like it in London, much less in our area: a truly modern, intelligent Jamaican-influenced bar in which an interest in our food or culture is a bonus, as opposed to a necessity. We'd like to think there's something that will appeal to everyone, and our innate knowledge of the local area is an obvious advantage.
As far as influences, the obvious one is Bar Story in Peckham. We're in a railway arch and will be serving cocktails and displaying art, I don't think we can escape it. But I've always loved Bar Story, so any comparison would be very flattering.
The project's taking shape fast and you can find out more at our website.