Wednesday 8 October 2008

All change on Creek Road

After a tip-off by a commenter on the Greenwich Phantom's post about the Deptford Project, I popped down Creek Road on my bike this evening to check out the new incarnation of The Hoy.

What was once a modest and rather shabby little pub is due to reopen tomorrow as a cafe serving sandwiches, panini and pies, proper coffee and from the looks of the stand inside the door, LOADS of crisps! The interior is unrecognisable apart from the cast iron columns - all the walls painted white to make it light and airy, there is a counter and fridges in the front and tables in the back, and even the entrance has been moved to the corner to provide more room for outdoor seating area customers, albeit with a view of the traffic. The Dame will report back with a review in due course.

My one visit to the Hoy when it was a pub was fairly unremarkable; the main reason it didn't get a second visit was the lack of real ale on offer. It was friendly enough despite its shabby appearance, and even the customers who weren't particularly friendly erred more on the side of 'I'm resigned to my fate' rather than 'I've got a load of pent-up aggression that I'm desperate to vent on someone'.

Which segues nicely into the other formerly-shabby hostelry of Creek Road. Likewise the Duke merited only one visit from myself and the Geezer in its former incarnation. It too had no real ale on offer, but it was the pub's rather edgy atmosphere and unwelcoming interior that put us off returning.

Now I give you; The Duke - pub AND DINING ROOM!

Its interior has been extensively remodelled, and although the place is not open yet, it looks like it won't be long before we can sample its wares. Repainted in a black and white palette with fancy wallpaper inside, the reborn Duke has the appearance of your average wannabe gastro-pub. It also has a fenced-off outdoor seating area for the smokers, and a fancy new pub sign.

Well, plenty of new places to try out, all in the name of research, natch. It's a tough job, etc etc

*Still on the subject of Creek Road, by the way, Cycles UK is intending to open a shop in the new building between the Duke and the Hoy, although for several weeks now it has just been a banner over an empty shop. One Greenwich Cyclists member described Cycles UK as 'the Harrods of cycle shops'. I hope that doesn't mean that it sells vulgar tat at hugely inflated prices - or that it has a shrine to Diana & Dodi in one corner....


CarolineLD said...

Noticed these changes walking home last night, it's all very exciting!

Anonymous said...

Well, I was that commenter on the Greenwich Phantom, so well done you for picking up and following up so qiuckly!
It is exciting to have a brand new cafe and a greatly revamped pub in Creek rd - it was a completely dead street for so long. Mind you, the Duke used to be to be a really good pub for live music back in the 70's and 80's. Anybody remember the Electric Bluebirds, The Realists or the Ya Ya's?

Anonymous said...

hi rod - thanks for the tip-off and it's nice to know that the Duke had a good life in its younger days!

Anonymous said...

Ohh, how exciting, I shall have to take a wander down the Creek. Perhaps we shall soon be spoilt with culinary options. I'll keep my cycle trade with Witcomb Cycles though, lovely Witcomb.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

sorry, misread your post at first and thought you had got the Hoy and the Duke the wrong way round, but both have been revamped?! bonus! My ex-colleagues at Embassy CES and Bellerbys College in Stowage will be spoilt for choice!

Anonymous said...

Well, I managed to pop into the new Hoy this morning, and I'm pleased I did. I'm not a coffee drinker, but in the interests of research, I had a latte, and I thought it was very good. It's not all croissants and 1664, either - they have homemade filled rolls, cakes and iced buns, and a heated cabinet with pies, pasties and sausage rolls. They're starting simple at the moment, but will look to expand the food offer in due course.
They have four or five bottled beers, including the excellent Old Speckled Hen.
The Hoy is now being run by a daughter and grandaughter of the old publican - as they put it "the men had their chance at running it, and now we're having a go."
It's light and airy, with a terrace out on Creek Rd, for them that like it, and tables in the front of the old bar with a comfortable lounge area with brown leather sofa and armchairs to the rear.
There was a steady stream of people coming in, many for coffee to take back to their offices (this being mid-morning), and this was only their second day trading, so I'm sure that it will work for them. I certainly hope so.