The Talbot: False Dawn

A couple of excited readers have contacted Brockley Central recently to report that scaffolding has appeared on the outside of The Talbot pub, located at the Lewisham end of the Conservation Area.

Punch Taverns have acquired the pub and are promising to revamp it, adding a proper kitchen and hopefully turning a visit in to a less terrifying experience than it has been in the past.

For some time, we've been awaiting signs of the new Talbot with baited breath and we thought that the refit work had finally begun.

However, Punch Taverns spokesperson told us not to get too excited just yet:

"We are currently carrying out some remedial work on the fabric of the building. The Talbot remains open and we are trying to keep disruption to a minimum while this work is carried out."

"It is still our intention to carry out a more comprehensive refurbishment project at the pub. Plans are being discussed and we expect this will take place in early 2008."

Thanks to James and Cath for the tip-off - sorry to be the bearers of bad news.


Tyrwhitt Michael said...

As a regular customer of the Talbot (4 or 5 times a week) I have read with interest the "so called" revelations relating to the pub.
Clearly none of the contributers actually drinks in the pub as if they did they would know what is and is not happening.
The pub had a licencee who was going to refurbish (and obtained planning permission) but the cost has become too great and he is now out of the picture.
A short read of Punch's website would reveal that Punch themselves do not usually refurbish pubs as such but support the lesee of their properties in doing so.
The Talbot does not currently have a lessee and is listed as being available for Lease on Punch's website. Ingoing capital requirement is just under £100K which I understand Punch will usually match. So they envisage a £200K refurbishment which is not a million miles from the proposed expenditure on the Wickham Arms.
This however will not happen until there is a new lesee or lesees in place who put forward a business plan acceptable to Punch to hopefully achieve a profitable and lively refurbished pub.
This is I understand what happened with another Punch Tavern in the area the Honor Oak anybody heard how sucessful that is.
So all you entrepeneurs out there now is you chance.
Oh and I still don't understand the "terrifying" bit.

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks for the info - that's really interesting. The situation has changed since I originally enquired about it and obviously Punch didn't share the fact that the licensee has pulled out of the refurbishment.

The Honour Hoak revamp seems to be pretty popular.

Apologies if you're a regular and mystified by the criticism the current pub has come in for, but I've tried it a couple of times and it doesn't seem welcoming to non-regulars. The fact that a lot of the people who've commented on it live locally but still don't go in there is probably testament to the fact it still has a bit of work to do.

Thanks for keeping us up to date. Hopefully a potential landlord is reading this.

Anonymous said...

I really cannot believe that someone is missing a trick with The Talbot. It's crying out for 'The Albert / Jam Circus' treatment! I would be in there all the time. PLEASE someone take it on!

Brockley Jon said...

Yeah, I'd love to see the Talbot as something a bit cooler and upmarket. It's got a good location, surely.

I was keeping my fingers crossed and watching closely when they were doing up Albertines - up Lewisham Way by Wickham Rd. I even went in there and told them what I'd like to see, and mentioned that there was a lucrative arty folk and young professionals market right on their doorstep.

Where did they go wrong? They gave it a sloppy coat of paint and put some hideous shiny letters on the front. They didn't even clean the toilets. It's empty half the time.

Sorry to whinge! Hopefully the Wickham Arms will fill the void with its makeover, whilst retaining its 'local' charm...

Rosie said...

I was rather put off going into The Talbot by some of the comments left on this blog but tried it earlier this summer and found the staff and regulars chatty, friendly and not at all unwelcoming to newcomers.

I hope a new lessee is found soon as The Talbot ought to be a surefire success. This part of Brockley/Lewisham is crying out for a good place to drink, eat and hang out.

I pass The Talbot on my way to and from St John's station each day so for me, as with many others, it would be an obvious stop-off for a post-work drink or three.

Anonymous said...

The rumour doing the rounds in East Dulwich is that the two guys who own The Palmerston and The Herne are looking at it. All I can say is they would do a fantastic job of taking what is clearly a gem of a pub in need of a bit of love. They have been right on the money in terms of providing good quality seasonal food and both pubs are always busy. I like The Honor Oak but feel it is a bit over stylised. These guys took The Herne and just brought it back to life with all original bits left intact.

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