After years of neglect, the Talbot pub in Brockley, Lewisham, has been restored to its former glory.
Crowds of people crammed into the pub for its grand opening last weekend, the culmination of several months cleaning and sprucing up the bar.
Felix Pearce, who took over the freehold from Punch Pubs in July this year, said his staff had removed 25 skips of rubbish just the day before the opening.
“It was touch and go whether we could open it on time, but we had an amazing team of builders. Everyone has done a great job,” he said.
The 40-year-old, who had baby girl two months ago, also owns the popular Prince Regent Park in New Cross. He said: “There aren’t many pubs around here. Brockley is an undiscovered diamond.”
The opening has been warmly welcomed by the community. Rob Miller, who lives nearby, said he was very pleased to see it re-open, adding he had thought the property was going to be turned into luxury flats.
“Punch never invested anything in it,” he said. “It will be interesting to see how the clientele develop, but the popularity really depends on how good the beer is.”
Another local man, Dave Barry, said: “You would see people walk past it and they’d speed up, I’m not joking.”
Christmas is the season for pub renovations as another bar on nearby Harefield Road, called the Orchard, is also preparing for a grand opening before Christmas, after a long fallow period.