The Talbot: Progress Report 1

Little over one month ago, the new landlord of The Talbot, Felix, wrote to Brockley Central to explain to readers about his plans for the pub, which is due to re-open in November. He also promised to keep us up-to-date as the rennovation progressed. True to his word, here is Felix's latest update:

I thought I’d give you a quick update since it has now been a month since we started work and things have moved at a great pace. At the moment we are on schedule for opening The Talbot at the beginning of November and barring any major problems we should be on time.

We have removed at least a dozen 12 yard skips of rubble, old pipework, and general building waste and some particularly unsavory carpets from the Talbot. The infrastructure of the building was in very poor condition, so we have reconstructed some internal walls, replaced a fair bit of rotten timber and repaired the main drains to the rear of the pub.

The rebuilding has begun at the top of the building and there are 14 men gradually working their way down. New plumbing, new wiring and new plasterboard throughout means that teams are following each other down from the 2nd floor. Since the trade kitchen and the dining room/function room will be on the 1st floor with a new bar, we are currently working hard to get this into good shape before we head down another floor to the main bar.

Last week I submitted the first of two planning applications that should be on Lewisham’s searchable database this week. The first is an application to separate the house on the left on the Talbot from the pub. In years gone by this has become part of the pub and it is my intention to turn this back into a house and live there myself. All of the space lost by turning the raised room on the left of the pub back into my living room will be regained by opening out the bar area and adding a bar and dining room upstairs.

The second application will be submitted next week and has been made to create an entrance lobby on the right hand side of the pub where the existing door is and to move the front entrance to the centre of the front face of the pub. We will then replace the old gated door on the left with a window to match all of the others. This will make the building accessible to all and comply with current disabled access regulations. We have looked at trying to achieve this internally but a lobby would simply eat up too much space in the bar.

I do hope that these applications will meet with all of your approval when Lewisham send out letters to you. They are only intended to improve the pub and update the building to make it more functional.

On a lighter note, I have managed to salvage the old cocktail sign from the rubble. It will definitely feature in some respect in the new pub. Watch this space.


Many thanks for your time

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds good!!!

M said...

Sounds great!
And will hopefully put the lid on some of the more paranoid ramblings of some posters here...

Anonymous said...

Yay, he has got the cocktails sign! That's the most important part of the whole renovation.

Anonymous said...

I think this guy will make a success of it. He basically knows how to handle people and will deal well with customers. Anyone in the sales business would do well to observe how he operates.

Anonymous said...

Clearly Felix has taken a leaf out of Jam-Circus-Richard's book - and jolly nice to see it! It's always good to have local businesspeople engaging with their customers on here.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

My only concern is the speed with which Lewisham planning department operates.

If the opening date is dependent upon obtaining permission for the external lobby and the new entrance then early November may be optimistic.......

Lets hope not.

osh said...

Good stuff. I hope sonofagun is satisfied.

patrick1971 said...

All sounds good. Can't wait to have a few pints there at Brockley Central Drinks IV. Or is it V?

Sonofagun's drinking buddy said...

I'll ask him when I see him.

Hugh said...

I don't think I've ever come across such a literate pub owner. Go on Felix, my son!

Monkeyboy said...

Great, lets hope the chef is a a whizz at algebra and the bar staff have a grounding in the three main sciences and we're sorted!

Bobblekin said...

When this pub opens I am going to drink in it every night for a month just to catch up on all the lost years of not having a decent local!

fabhat said...

Also good news that Felix is planning to move next door - it makes the Talbot (another) really local local.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to change the subject somewhat but can anyone recommend a builder for a small piece of renovation work? Will need planning permission too. Sorry again to intrude on the thread.

Re the Talbot, there is little doubt that the conservation area alone provides a lot of potential demand. I would caution this chap against assuming that everyone wants to spend 30 a head on Sunday lunch. We wldn't for starters. We want from a local pub the following:

1. decent clean decor, reasonably but not amazingly trendy
2. normal young professionals as clientele
3. decent food - not too fancy but reasonably priced and the sort of thing that arrives quickly and fills the gap when you can't be bothered to cook. Certainly not v expensive food in a soulness empty joint.
4. occasional events like quizzes?
5. good staff who are responsive

I also think the site of the aquarium could be great if someone could make it work. Is it so hard?

angelofthewest said...

i love you felix!

Hugh said...

"Normal young professionals as clientele."

Perhaps Felix could put a sign over the door telling everyone else to get lost.

Headhunter said...

According to Fred the pricing policy at the new Talbot effectively does this anyway

Hugh said...

If Felix charges more than 5 notes for a pie and mash then I for one will be disappointed, and probably choose hunger.

Anonymous said...

A fiver is becoming the minimum beer price in many London establishments, let alone getting you a meal!

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Whilst being reasonably normal and a professional, I am I regret to say no longer young.

This will not stop me drinking in the Talbot 3 or 4 times a week for I hope considerably longer than just the first month.

First round of Raspberry Bellinis on Hugh I seem to recall, however a pint of Black Sheep is my preferred tipple.

Has anyone other than me visited the Prince Regent yet?

Headhunter said...

Hugh - Sounds like you may be more at home with Wetherspoons pricing then! I was shocked to be charged £3.50 for a pint of bitter at the Woolpack in Bermondsey the other day! For a BITTER! Usually pubs only charge silly prices like that for silly, fizzy, tasteless lagers.

I was talking over things with a friend from Herne Hill the other day and what I actually thought was the Price Regent is actually The Florence, so in fact I haven't been to the Price Regent at all yet.

Yeasty said...

The Prince Regent used to be a bit rough a few years back but always looks very busy now. The Florence is an utterly middle class, trendy gatropub where the food prices don't even have the pence them (i.e. £6.00 is listed as 6) and I like it so much I had my birthday there. It has a micro brewery, beat that!

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Cumberland Sausage with mash and onion gravy is £8.95 at the Prince Regent.

They do do a two course for a tenner deal on Mondays though.

Pretty well the same level of pricing as the Ladywell Tavern, Honor Oak, Brockley Jack or the Telegraph.

Either start saving Hugh or stick to the Barge.

Anonymous said...

Can't beat a bit of barge for simple, straightforward grub at an honest price. Go elsewhere for your panfried goujons of course.

drakefell debaser said...

Yes you can, cooking a bit of road kill is probably healthier.

I once had a mixed grill in a Weatherspoon – steak, pork chop, bangers etc and it was vile. Cheap, yes, but whatever was grilled was not meat in my book.

If you consider the quality of produce you get for the price, places like the barge are expensive.

Hugh said...

Will pop in to see who else drinks there and what beers they have. Suspect they can't touch the missus' cooking any road so perhaps the price of sossies is academic.

We're looking forward tremendously to meeting all the normal young professionals.

Headhunter said...

I agree with DD, food at Wetherspoons pubs is fine but it's not a patch on some of the stuff turned out at some "expensive" gastro pubs. Wetherspoons food is good for filling a gap after a few pints but it revolves around things that the staff can shove in the deep fat fryer or the microwave rather than something put together by a chef. You pays your money and takes your choice....

Unknown said...

Great i can roll out of bed into the talbot in less than two minutes. are they going to have a screen so that i an watch glorious Manchester united play?

Joanne said...

Very excited about the Talbot reopening. When I first bought my flat I asked the vendors about local pubs and they replied "we only go to the Talbot if we're going to have an argument as there's no point spoiling a good evening"! I'm sure the new version will be a vast improvement. As a new mum can I put in a plea to Felix for baby-friendly coffee and cake in the daytime? I know a lot of mums who go to Jam Circus in the week and I'd love to get them over to this side of Brockley sometimes.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

I don't get the impression that football coverage is high on Felix's list of priorities.

The Rising Sun, Albertines, the Chandos and now once again the Wickham Arms have full Sky coverage.

I would rather the Talbot didn't
have TV sports but that's only my personal preference.

Anonymous said...

Any chance of opening earlyish on Saturday for brunch and newspapers. No skysports, no fruities please

Anonymous said...

I will miss the old Talbot but not much. There were some lovely people who drank there regularly. George who fought at Arnhem and drank pints of Gin and lemonade was a prize fighter after the war -8 fights a night for half a crown each - he had some great stories and is a real gentleman.

another anon said...

I can't see any reason why 'Arnhem George' wouldn't be welcome in the new Talbot. I love listening to people with a story.

YETANOTHERANON said...

Better than that other George, the malcontent, everyone was getting so misty eyed about just lately.

Malpasian said...

Malcontent!! Surely a wind up. G.O. is a national treasure. I havn't met the other gent yet.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Seems that scaffold is going up today. Are we still on for a November opening Felix?

What were the materials stolen as reported by Oracle on another thread? Is this why the place now looks like Fort Knox?

I also have to report that George of Arnham fame, sadly died last week and will not have the pleasure of seeing the new Talbot.

The Oracle said...

@Tyrwhitt Michael. Thanks for reporting on the sad passing of George of Arnhem. A true hero in Brockley.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

I suppose really what I was after is Talbot Update 2.

Any chance Felix?

Oracle if you knew George then I suspect I know you but I can't think who you are. Any clues or more to the point do you know me?

Will publish details of George's funeral when I get to know myself.

Hope this is still on subject Nick ;-)

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

The drawings for the alterations to the Pub and the House are up on the Lewisham planning site now that permission to separate them has been granted.

Unfortunately Lewisham have put the design statement for the House up twice. As a result I am somewhat mystified as to the purpose of the lobby on the side of the pub.

Any ideas?

Felix?

Anonymous said...

Not long to go now. Looking forward to a pint of Harveys

Headhunter said...

It really isn't going to be open in November as planned.... Is it? I biked past on Sat and it was still completely shrouded in scaffolding with the external area a general building site...

Anonymous said...

I reckon it will be, those boys look as though they work hard

Unknown said...

Will be joy a local 100 yards from my front door, let's hope new regulars and do not treat as their pub as in the "old tabot".

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Hmmmmmmmm. John's comment appears to be another from someone who judged the previous locals by the look of the pub, rather than by talking to them.

I drank in the "Old" Talbot for 20 years and I always made a point of welcoming newcomers.

I never felt it was treated by us as if was ours, but then I don't know if I ever met John.

Any way it may be a disappointment to him but a lot of the old regulars I have talked to will be returning..........me included.

sonofagun said...

I think they could do without people like you John.

Hugh said...

Is there a menu of beers and grub for us to peruse?

tyrwhitt michael said...

I imagine it will be similar to the Prince Regent which is at www.theprinceregent.co.uk

Sian said...

I love walking past the pub every morning and seeing what's happening that day - and the builders are incredibly polite and friendly although my Polish (?) isn't good enough to find out any news )-:

Can't wait for it to open so we have somewhere within winter walking distance to go for a drink.

Hugh said...

Is opening still on for later this month? The site still looks quite messy although there is clearly a lot of work going on.

Headhunter said...

Supposed to be pre opening BC drinks (on Hugh) some time next week, isn't it? Bring your bike Hugh we can talk groupsets and carbon vs aluminium framesets

Hugh said...

Aluminium, old bean? The choice, if there is one, must surely lie between carbon and titanium.

Bonuses not what they were, my dear chap?

Anonymous said...

They seem to be working later,It was 7.30 monday and It was lit up like Wembley.

Hugh said...

The pub is looking good but are they going to replace that horrible little door that serves as the front entrance?

M said...

Try reading Felix's report above, Hugh. Perhaps there are a few clues in there?

Anonymous said...

Have you been following this Hugh ?

Headhunter said...

Actually I was wondering about that door. The building looks much improved apart from that nasty little UPVC orifice which looks like it will be the main entrance...

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Not UPVC at all but the two original Hardwood glazed doors - there's one on the flank elevation too. They have just painted them white. Not sure whether they are temporary or permanent.

Felix's house No4 does have a nice new panelled door.

Like the retention of the old pub sign albeit in a new location - still faded and with Charringtons atop it. I can remember when the dog had spots.

Headhunter said...

Oh OK, it was dark when I went past last Sun. The door does look a bit incongruous though. There was obviously a much larger Victorian door there previously.

inebriate said...

hic, as long as the cellar stock is good and the atmosphere warm who gives a flying feck what the front door looks like.

projector said...

there's a sign up in the window saying opening 7pm Friday. So if any of youse are thinking you're the specially chosen pioneers called upon to bravely christen this hostelry, you're not. It'll be open to the hoi polloi too.

Hugh said...

Can't believe the place will be finished by Friday. Looks like teh first drinkers will be slumming it a bit.

Now if Felix can see fit to install a table tennis table upstairs I'll know we've got something special here.

wtf? said...

yes, you never see pubs with table tennis gear in these days. Also some basket ball hoops and a tiger please.

wtf? said...

yes, you never see pubs with table tennis gear in these days. Also some basket ball hoops and a tiger please.

Headhunter said...

Sounds like you need to go to the Montague Arms - they've got a stuffed Zebra and a stagecoach...

Anonymous said...

Is it organic? I'm ringing PETA *stuffs 50p in an envelope*

Brockley Central Label Cloud