The name was thought up when we were trying to buy The Hob (now The Signal) in Forest Hill. We were running through options and I said to my team: “What about something to do with the Horniman?” Ben (our assistant manager) half jokingly suggested naming it after The Fat Walrus, and I immediately fell in love with it. When the Forest Hill site fell through and we found the Old Haberdasher, we were so sold on the name the we stuck with it. It’s pretty catchy.
Where were you before?
All over: the Florence in Herne Hill, the Merchant in Clapham and, most recently, New Cross House: when I left, all the staff also handed in their notice and twelve of us are now here, including three chefs.
What’s the offer then for locals?
We’re independent so are going to evolve as we go. However, our menu will be American-inspired, and mostly cooked on our charcoal grill.We’re tied on beer but allowed one cask ale out of the tie. It’s a big decision as there are are some great south London breweries, but a good challenge.
How has the local community responded?
Having run New Cross House for the last four years, I reckon I have a bit of a head start. We already have support from the residents on St Donatt’s Rd and are getting a few in from Brockley, too. So far they seem to like what we’re doing. We also have close links with Goldsmith’s University and hosted a bit of a knees-up there last Friday.
Any events we can look forward to?
We’ll be having an opening party on Wed 3rd Feb, so put that in your diary. Other than that we’re keeping it simple for now as we want to focus on getting the basics right – before overloading ourselves with the fun stuff.