Coping with success

Patrick: Yeah, can you take two tonight at, oh, let's say 9:00 ?
Maitre d: We're totally booked.
Patrick: Really ? That's great.
Maitre d: No, I said we are totally booked.
Patrick: Two at 9:00? Perfect.
- American Psycho

Maybe it’s only a pop-up, but the phenomenal popularity of #Meateasy in New Cross is the latest in a series of successful new businesses that have located in the area in the last couple of years.

When we first started writing the blog, the most common lament from local business owners was that only a clutch of familiar faces ever ventured out locally. That Brockley had a loyal customer base, but a very small one. Everyone else went out elsewhere in London or not at all – preferring to rattle around in their large homes that they’d occupied for years, without feeling the need to give the high street a go. That was their story and it was probably largely right. But with a few honorable exceptions, like Moonbows and Toads Mouth, there weren’t many ways for locals to show their support.

Four years on, there is a decent (though still narrow) choice and the biggest complaint heard about new businesses from readers of Brockley Central is that they are too busy. The Brockley Mess struggles to cope with the number of kids that comes through its doors, Jam Circus sometimes runs out of ale and #Meateasy queues can last for hours. While we’re sure every local business owner has the odd sleepless night about paying the bills, very few new venues that have opened since we started BC have closed. The customers do come.

We should be pleased that the biggest grumbles we have are related to overcrowding, because it means that more places will – eventually – follow.