Sunday 17 July 2011

The Old Haberdasher

Formerly known as the Rosemary Branch, having enjoyed more recently an infamous period as the Black Flag, this rather handsome corner pub on Lewisham Way is now renamed and reopened as the Old Haberdasher. Myself and the Geezer popped down there last night to check it out

Considering it's only been open a few nights, the pub was fairly lively - I suspect everyone else was also checking out this new arrival on the New Cross pub scene. Staff were very friendly, first impressions were good.

Having never been in the pub before I don't know how the interior differs to what was there before, but it's certainly very smart now. Wooden floors, 'heritage' paint colours, slightly mismatched furniture, mostly regular tables and chairs but with a corner of banquettes and some of those high chairs for people who like to view the bar from an elevated position. The area to the right of the bar had tables all laid out restaurant style, so this place seemingly has either aspirations or delusions of grandeur, however you like to see it. Personally I'm not a fan of restaurants in pubs - fine if they have a dining room, but if it's a pub it should be a pub - and if you want to eat, the staff can bring cutlery etc to the table. The decor was fairly bland, nothing offensive but nothing characterful either - reminded me rather of the Duke on Creek Road in this regard. There is plenty of outdoor space at the front and an enclosed garden at the back, could be quite nice on a sunny day.

There was a choice of two real ales - Greene King IPA (meh) and Timothy Taylor's Landlord. I chose the latter; nicely kept and reasonably priced at £3.20. A third handpump suggests other ales might arrive in due course - let's hope something a little more unusual. Lager choice was Staropramen, Becks and Stella, prices from £3.60 upwards. There was an extensive wine list too. I particularly liked the fact that the prices of all the beers were included in the menus on the table - for some reason it seems to have become fashionable of late to dispense with price lists in pubs. I find it rather irritating in places like the New Cross House where they sell some very expensive lagers and there's no way of telling the price of what you are buying without asking (and even then the bar staff don't always know, they just press the appropriate button on the till).

The menu was typical pub grup - burgers, steaks, fish n chips etc with a range of ciabattas too - priced slightly above the norm. We didn't try anything so I can't comment on the quality, intend to rectify this in due course. They also have a short specials menu which seemed a little more adventurous - pea risotto, sea bass, etc.

Two things grated - the music was rather patchy, ranging from acceptable to MOR ballady-type stuff which was just naff. Hopefully this can be fixed quite easily.

The second is a little more permanent - the smallest toilet cubicles IN THE WORLD! The positioning of pan and door in the ladies toilets means that in order to enter or exit the cubicles you have to straddle the pan so that you can open or close the door! At the risk of being caught in the act and branded some kind of pervert, I took a photo to more easily demonstrate this abomination. Please forgive the vulgarity - after all a Dame should never be seen in this kind of compromising position - but I thought it was necessary to prove my point.

It's galling that the rest of the washroom is quite spacious, so the teensy cubicles were not created just so they could be shoehorned into a tiny area. Gents don't fret though, the cubicle in the men's toilets is suitably capacious for your manly thighs and large feet (or so I am told!).

The Old Haberdasher
44 Lewisham Way,
SE14 6NP


vulgar respondent said...

Not much room for two in that cubicle then DD?


biff bifferson said...

sweet jesus that toilet situation looks intolerable. twas my old local when i lived on st donnatts road. had a few changes of face, including one point where it turned gay - seemingly while i was reading my paper stood at the bar.
dead on with beer prices - shouldn't be a secret. two pints of budvar in the new rose on essex road yesterday - £8.80!

Deptford Dame said...

@biff £4.40 a pint ffs? It's only £3.50 in the Dog n Bell, where they still have a blackboard on the bar with all the prices written up by hand. Each time a new ale comes on tap, the name, brewery, strength and price is chalked up (the price being a rough approximation as far as I can see, having witnessed the landlord carrying out the mental arithmetic, and almost always being less than £3).

@vulgar respondent do I know you?!

. said...

I believe pubs are reguired to clearly display prices, as decreed by the Price Marking (Food and Drink Services) Order 2003.

NewXGate Regular said...

With that loo situation it looks like a stop beforehand and a two pint maximum before legging it to a spacier environ! Good to see a new decent pub in New X though to compete with The New X House. I agree with your comment about the beer prices. Nearly fainted when buying two pints there!