It has been a while since the last update. Looking at the shop, you’d think work had drawn to a halt. In fact we have been very busy behind the scenes.
We are now officially in the planning phase, this had taken longer than anticipated due to concerns about internal walls. This has now been resolved and the plans will shortly be available for the public to view.
A few weeks back local MP Vicky Foxcroft invited Emma and I up to Westminster to talk about the pub and regeneration of Springbank Road. It was the first time that either of us had been inside the Palace of Westminster, Vicky was kind enough to take us on a little tour, which was an absolute delight. Vicky has agreed that Springbank is in need of regeneration and that it would benefit with more businesses.
Residents and Councillors.
We took the decision to invite some of the neighbours in to the shop, it was an opportunity to introduce ourselves, explain our plans and listen to any concerns.
Over the past few weeks we have spoken to various Councillors from Lewisham.
It is no secret that Springbank Road is in need of new amenities and that Hither Green could do with alternative social options. With that in mind, support has been very good.
The Archibald Corbett Society.
Emma and I were invited to the Archibald Corbett Society’s AGM to give a brief talk. If you are not aware of who Archibald Corbett was or his legacy, then I recommend that you have a look at this website. Archibald Corbett built the estate between 1885 and 1911. He was keen to promote healthy living and was a committed temperance reformer, therefore he insisted on an embargo on the sale of alcohol.
With the knowledge that there has never been a pub on the estate, we felt it would be in the best interest for us to meet with the society and make our intentions clear. With that in mind the vote was unanimous to support the pub.
Planning is laborious, hopefully next time there will be some more tangible news.
88 Springbank Road has over 100 years of history and it shows. The earliest records I could find show it as a tobacconist, it has also been a cab office and more recently an investment broker. I would love to hear from anyone who has historic knowledge of 88 Springbank. I have spent many hours trawling through online copies of Kelly’s directory, but thus far it has revealed very little. In fact the earliest record i could find -1917- there was no listing at all. I can only guess that they had popped out for a pint of milk.
Phase #1, planning and building regulations. Before we can start the fun stuff of actually building a pub we need Lewisham Council to approve our application to change the usage. At the moment the building has what they call an A2 -professional services- usage and we need to get that changed to an A4 -drinking establishment- usage. For this there is a plethora of red tape as we plan to bring walls down and put walls up. We need to make sure that fire safety and environmental health regulations are met and to show that we plan to run a responsible establishment. Last week we met and spoke with various architects to discus plans and we will be making a decision in the next couple of days.
I’ve popped in a few pics so you can see what the place looks like now.
If you have any questions or concerns then please do not hesitate to get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let me start by saying thanks to all the people who stopped by to say hi. It was nice to get such a warm welcome from both beer lovers and those who just wanted to wish us good luck.
The day didn’t get off to a perfect start. I’d filled a brand new fridge on Friday to ensure that we had lots of cold beers for Saturday. I got a call at 0600 on Saturday to say that our brand new fridge was not cold, worse than that it had slightly warmed the drinks. There I was at 0730 in the morning, on my hands and knees trying to fix a fridge that unbeknown to me was beyond repair. After making calls – firstly to an engineer and then to retailers of commercial fridges – I abandoned any hope of either fixing it or getting a suitable one. We decided to nip round to Emmaus Charity shop on Lee High Road and get a second hand one. This episode frustratingly put us behind by at least a couple of hours. Emma managed to get round with her mum and set the stall up, while I wrote and printed the menus off at home. We eventually managed to get the kegs on by 1330 and the rest of the stock eventually arrived by about 1400. We had planned to have chalkboards, but time got the best of us and they remained unused. A super massive big thank you to Emma’s mum and dad, Bill and Judy who homed our broken fridge as well as running the beers around and working tirelessly on the day. I’m not exaggerating when I say we could not have done it without them.
So the afternoon itself? Once we were up and running things got better. Emma pulled her first pints and after a few lively ones, took to it like a duck to water. The Neck Oil was a hit and we pretty much sold out. We intend to do a few pop ups outside the pub in the weeks before opening.
The cat is now out of the bag as to where the pub will be – Springbank Rd in Hither Green. It was a delight to meet so many smiling and supportive locals. I have no doubt that we will meet many of you again. I’d like to say thanks to the people who got in touch through Facebook, offering ideas regarding the broken fridge in the morning and I extend those thanks to the people who have sent us good wishes.
So what happens next? I am meeting architects next week to discuss plans for the pub. I would like to upload some photos next week so you can see what the building looks like at the moment.
Thanks again to everyone who stopped by mathBREW on Saturday.
It has been almost three weeks since the website launched and I have been super quiet. This week we finally got the good news that we have been waiting for. Terms are now agreed on a property, just a stones throw from Hither Green station. Next week the real hard work beings. We have lots of red tape and hoops to jump through before we can start the building work. First of all we need floor plans drawn up, there are walls to come down and walls to go up, the building really needs a lot of love. We need to satisfy the police, the fire brigade, the local licencing authority, environmental health and building regulations. They need to be confident that our pub isn’t going to burn down, become a drug den or that that we are not going to poison children. We also need to apply for a change of use for the building, it currency holds an A1, to operate as a pub we will need to get this changed to an A4. We also need to apply for a premises licence to sell alcohol.
I hope to upload some photos next week, you’ll get an idea of what we are starting from then.
So what about the pop up?
I guess we kind of soft launch today. We will be taking a fridge full of beers, a couple of kegs, a cask, some cider and some wine along to the Hither Green World Food and Craft Fayre. I have tried to include a little bit of everything, from Gose to Imperial Stout, from Pilsner to Barrel aged Barley Wine.
Its at Hither Green Clocktower, the address is Des Vignes Drive, SE13 1PA.
My first beer delivery arrived last week. £1000 worth of beer piled in the corner, It’s odd I’d have expected £1000 of beer to be piled to the ceiling. Instead it has paid for 16 crates or 378 bottles and cans.
What would someone do with all that beer?
Let me take you back a few months. I quit my full time job in public relations last September, four months prior to that I had dropped down to part time hours to follow a different path. I had decided that I must become my own boss, make my own money and ultimately sail my own ship.
Anyone who knows me, knows my obsession with beer, well not just beer, but alcohol. I must be careful when choosing to use the words obsession and alcohol in the same sentence. That those words don’t become tangled and misconstrued.
I live in Lee and am all too aware of the lack of what I would describe as good drinking establishments in the area. It would seem like the logical way to combat this would be to open one.
The Birth of a New Pub? Conception took just a moment, now comes the nurturing and I would hope to see a new pub by the end of September.
We are doing something new and I intend to use this blog to document this journey.
My hopes are that it grows in to something wonderful, but it could all go wrong tomorrow.
So what would someone do with all that beer? We plan to soft launch next month at the Hither Green World Food and Craft Fayre. That decision is now in the hands of Lewisham licencing dept, Environmental Health and Lewisham Police.
You can find out more about the festival here http://ourhithergreen.com/2017/04/word-food-craft-fair/