Alby seeing you

The Zippos Circus posters of death have appeared in the windows of the business formerly known as Alby's Place on Brockley Road.

Equipment and furnishing from the "restaurant" was cleared several weeks ago and a notice appeared in the window, saying that the owners were applying for retroactive planning permission for all the features they'd installed that didn't comply with their approved application. Alby's name has been removed from above the front door.

The Circus posters are the surest sign that a business has closed and won't be coming back.

Despite plastering the windows with the word "restaurant", Alby's Place never operated as such. CCTV cameras monitored the locked front doors and members of the public were not allowed in in the evenings. All of which makes it difficult to mourn its loss.

So it looks like we are basically back to square one with this restaurant space, which occupies a key plot in the centre of Brockley. With The Orchard, The Gantry, Mo Pho and Nu Spice flourishing and businesses like City Noodles and The Brockley Barge continuing to do brisk trade, there's no doubt this is a prime spot that could be a massive success in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing and is prepared to run it as a restaurant.

As its neighbours have raised their game, this unit has turned from tragedy to comedy. The owners, Biagio, need to find a proper tenant or sell the freehold to someone who will.