From the Toads Mouth

After we reported the plans to reopen the Toads Mouth as something new there were plenty of questions raised by readers, which new owner Ali kindly agreed to answer. Here's what she told us:

What balance will you be striking between being a restaurant, a bar and a café? 

We are primarily going to be a restaurant. But we’re lucky that the area upstairs naturally lends itself to a different kind of atmosphere, so it will primarily be a bar. And during the day we will be serving breakfast and lunch, café-style.

What sort of restaurant are you planning? 

It will be a neighbourhood restaurant – simple and delicious rather than over-ambitious. It will have a strong French influence but we will be serving a range of cuisines, including British. Our influences are mainly French restaurants, but an example of the kind of atmosphere we’re hoping to create would be Pizza East in Shoreditch. The décor will combine Victorian features with natural wood.

What will your opening hours be like? 

We’ll be open every day except Monday. The bar will be open until 11.30pm and the restaurant until 11pm on Friday and Saturday. We’ll be open for breakfast at the weekends and brunch during the week.

Toads Mouth’s garden was its best feature, in our view, and a bit of a rarity for the area. What are you planning for it? 

The garden is really important for our plans. We love it too. There will be outside dining, although we have to prove ourselves to our neighbours and the Council, so evening opening hours will be limited – 6pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, 9pm on other days. That does restrict what we’re able to do, so we hope to show that we are responsible owners, in order to persuade people to let us open a little later, eventually. 

How child-friendly do you plan to be? 

The space is divided in to lots of small rooms and we plan to take advantage of the flexibility this offers by creating some areas which are better suited to kids and some areas which are better suited to people who want somewhere a little quieter and more relaxing. I know that the balance can be tricky to get right. It’s always been a tricky site for buggies, due to the narrow stairs, and we haven’t been able to change that. We plan to be friendly to all our customers!

Have you decided on a name yet? 

We’re down to a shortlist of five. I think we already know our favourite, but I will be able to tell you what we finally choose shortly.

Do you live in Brockley? 

My husband and I live in Woolwich but my brother lives in Brockley, so we know the area really well and understand what the Toads Mouth meant to Brockley.

Will you be using many local suppliers? 

We have a list of South East London companies that we’re hoping to work with, including La Bonne Bakery in Sydenham and the Mean Time brewery in Greenwich.

When do you hope to be ready? 

We’re aiming for mid-May, at the moment.