Sunday, 5 July 2009

The Woodman is our big opportunity

One lovely listener has pointed out that The Woodman pub is up for sale. I can confirm this as I sent my aides, Margaret and Nick to take a look. The pub will be sold at auction very soon (this week I think), and has a guide price of around £175,000. I don't know what the sale includes, but a pub overlooking The Common with lacklustre competition sounds a bit of a snip to me. This could be our best chance of a decent gastro-pub. The local demographic is shifting and the demand is definitely here. If I had the resources, I'd be sitting in an auction room with a very twitchy arm.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG lets all get down to the Auction House with some leaflets and a petition about what plumstead needs. It is actually a nice pub (minus the patrons) in terms of size and having some outside space and a great view and would make a lovely place to have sunday lunch reading the papers, eating mash and having a beer (please Plumstead pub owners can we have at least a choice of wine in the pubs if you can't quite stretch to a wine list - red or white as a choice does not count).
Lets hope that someone buys this who can see what a goldmine it would be and not the same idiot who owns the Shit - sorry I mean the Ship.
Maybe we can all buy it as a cooperative and put £1k in each - anyone know 175 people in Plumstead?!!!
I am so excited, in my head the new pub has already happened and is a gleaming pub of gastroness with lovely settees and chairs and games (scrabble not pin balls)

Anonymous said...

I would put 1k into it.


How do we do this?

I know 3 other couples I could ask...

thomastanke said...

I know a great Interior design company Lox Finton Ass. if the interior needs doing up. All you do is find an interior you like in a magazine and they will do something very similar if not exactly the same. I happy to throw in £1K.

Anonymous said...

Is there any more info on this? When and where the auction is happening etc. Can't see anythin g on the web...

Anonymous said...

By god I wish Id known this sooner! Ive been looking for a venue to do exactly this for most of my plumstead life. Ive been turned down very recently by owners of certain builing merchants to give plumstead the cafe it so wants and deserves.I daresay people can work out who I am saying that, its all I bloody talk about!
I have a much smaller budget than £175k though but I do know 175 people. How do we do this. Seriously people. This is what I do and know and love and desperately want. If lots people want to own this pub and be shareholders I will happily run it in the best way you can imagine, Can this be done?

Dr Pangloss can we arrange a meeting via your blog? has the aution day passed? Im as seriosu as can be!

Anonymous said...

I noticed The Woodman was up for auction recently, a great opportunity not to be missed. I'd love to contribute but am currently not working as looking after my toddler. My friends & I would def support the pub though.

Anonymous said...

From what im hearing the Auction was unsuccessful and the Woody is now listed with a standard agents the sign is now outside with the name on the board, a co-operative pub this sounds interesting, has it been done before, would the co-operative get discounted beer is a more important question, and would they be given the first few answers free in the quiz night ?????

Anonymous said...

There is a sign up for sale or to let so if you're seriously interested, it might be worth putting in an offer?

Good luck!

Dimps said...

Talking of pubs, I understand an advert was being filmed outside the Whodie yesterday, for Aviva. No, I don't get it, either. Anyway, I noticed that at the same time there was yet more filming going on, at the petrol garage in Shooters Hill (the one just past the We Anchor in Hope pub). A clown was sitting on a car. Does anyone know what that was all about?

jennidots said...

My Hubby said he would chuck in a grand too...I would work there to get it going for free, I can cook as well...well, I can make a good fish pie and lamb curry. Hmmmmm
Seriously though, it certainly had me a thinking about this place too. What an opportunity to miss.
Also, the afore mentioned place near me and the other person who posted....me and the other half often talk about how excellent that place would be...big front space for tables and a large back yard for whatever else...could be created into a community garden or something.

Anonymous said...

I noticed The Woodman was up for auction, it is quite an attractive pub. I was PRAYING that someone would buy it and turn it into a gastro-pub. At the moment tend to eat out in the west end, where we work. Totally agree that the demographic is shifting in Plumstead. One day I hope it will have a delicatessen and a nice cafe too. I noticed that the Lord Derby ( a rather grotty pub v.near to the station) is for sale too with permission for 5 residential units too. They must be cashing in on the ever improving transport links in the area. That big block of flats they are building opposite the station is coming along nicely too. The area is changing, slowly but surely.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this may be slightly more achievable - http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-22774768.html

Doctor Pangloss said...

Excellent piece of intel. With you and an enigma machine we'll never fear a surprise attack from the rear.

Thanks alot.

£30,000 is definitely a more achievable sum. Without trying to sound frivolous about it, who's going to start the ball rolling?

Anonymous said...

I assume you are referring to Ablairs? If they are selling space what do they care what happens there. Would you rent the Woodman? I can almost smell the success of a pub/cafe (would need to sell alcohol)! coming to the lands.. Plumstead is full of 30something couples with or without children who have all been priced out of Charlton (priced out of Blackheath llooooonnng ago) I don't understand why anyone who owns these premises doesnt understand that..
Perhaps we should pop a note through their letterbox with a link to this blog!

Plummy Mummy said...

I'm curious about this supposed shift in demographics? What is it based on. Truthfully, is it just anecdotal or hard facts. I had a look on the Census website but could not make head nor tale of it. However, did note that the next census is 2011 and it would be interesting to see if that shift actually is in evidence in the census stats.
My own personal experience is that there is not that much cash about. Most people I see day to day are mums who gave up work because they were not able to afford to work part time, credit crunch causing job loss and generally a lack of income. One major downside is that people who would previously have sent the sprogs to private schools are now sending them to state schools.
If there was a gastro pub, it would only be for what I assume are a small section of Plumstead society. And would that section want kids in there? I have a child but I'm not sure I would like rugrats round my feet whilst tucking into a meal.

I did notice the Woodman was open this weekend. Did any of those shifted-demographics who went to Plumstead live drop in for a bevvy? Did any of those who have dosh give some support to local businesses or did most of them bemoan the lack of suitable venues round here and keep their hands firmly in their pockets?

Doctor Pangloss said...

Plummy Mummy. You should know by now that Plumsteadshire isn't based on science or hard statistics. These are my personal views and glass half full opinions. When I say that a Sainsbury custard tart is better than a Waitrose one, I didn't commission YouGov to tell me the answer.

The 'shift in demographics' is purely my own view. If you want fact, then I can only only give you a fact that I know 6 young professional couples who have chosen to live in our little corner of Londonshire. Maybe they've moved here because of affordability, or maybe they like green spaces. I don't know, but they like it here.

As for the Census, well I wouldn't take them too seriously as people tick the boxes they want to tick. We'll probably discover that we are a high density Jedi population area.

Plummy Mummy said...

Ah but then the force would be with us and we would get a change!
I hope I didn't come across as a ranter. I just wish we had a way of convincing marketing bods or whoever makes the decision to invest in this area. I even spent some time on the Beer association website to find out about gastro pubs. There was no info to be found. Just that pubs are closing cos of the smoking ban (yippee I say!) and some extra costs the govt in it's infinite wisdom is levying on the beer industry.

Anonymous said...

the demographic is shifting precisely because this area is one of the last places in London that a professional couple on an average london income can afford to by a HOUSE. a flat elsewhere is possible, but those of us that like the idea of green spaces, having a garden, living in a place bigger than a shoe box, etc (i.e. SENSIBLE people) have made the move out to plumsteadshire. this is fact based on actually going out and about in the local area and getting to know people, joining local groups and activities and meeting young and old and hearing their stories.
plumsteadshire is not for those seeking to live in a trendy london area, but a neighbourhood with a decent sense of community (the best I have known in my years) with lovely lovely green spaces and mostly good people, together with the diversity that london has to offer and with easy links to work in londontown.
yes there are some unsavoury people around, but this is still london and that's part of life. but rather the diversity, than than a snooty pristine area (go to hampstead or blackheath for that, thanks very much).
fact remains that the flow of new youngish couples/families moving to the area NEED local businesses to respond to the changing local community. a cafe or gastro pub can still be inexpensive (compared with standard london prices) to cater for the cross section of people here, but it can still be an attractive comfortable LOCAL place that sells good food and drink that people want (not the same old greasy fast food we've got plenty of).
there MUST be a clever business person or entrepeneur out there that will finally listen, and CASH IN on this. i know plenty of people that would spend their hard-earned wages on a good meal in a nice cafe or gastro pub. and certainly, some place to bring visiting family and friends along to after a nice walk across the green spaces at the weekend.

so someone out there, PLEASE, finally do something.
buy the woodman and give us some decent culinary delights in a cosy welcoming atmosphere.
perhaps decent gastro pub food, a menu including some healthy things, real coffee, and perhaps pastries and newspapers on saturday and sunday mornings.

Anonymous said...

We also moved here several years ago having rented in a much nicer (yes it's true, no pretending it isn't) area of London. However, we wanted a house for our family, not a flat and we wanted an area with families and homeowners, people who care about the appearance of their houses, unlike most people who rent. However, we were v nearly put off because of the lack of places to go. I have been in the Woodman and no I wouldnt return with it in its current state. The place is unwelcoming and the people are hardly those who I moved to Plumsteadshire to meet. On my travels in the comedy club, train station, and via neighbours I have met some lovely young professionals and some not so young professionals. We always try and attend the local events when they are on and would support a local business if it was one that catered for our needs, which are food and drink.
Most people I know either have both partners work or the one that does work earns enough for them to eat out or drink out. It doesn't have to be an expensive night out to leave the house but what would make it considerably cheaper would be not having to pay the taxi fare back from Blackheath or Greenwich after a night out.
I love Plumstead for its green spaces and quiet roads and lovely neighbours but if I'm honest I would much rather it be like Dulwich or even Forest Hill and have a deli, pub, restaurant. It doesn't need to be trendy, bohemian would do me nicely.
Oh and a quick message for Plummy Mummy I am quite IT illiterate (and probably could find out if I wasnt always so rushed when on the net) but I can never post on your blog as I am not a blogger and dont have an account and you don't accept anon comments. I promise not to write anything offensive if you do change it!!

Kit H said...

Anyone fancy organising a meeting to discuss The Woodman in person? If we were feeling very gutsy we could even have it in the place itself!! Alright, maybe not...

I'm looking for a business to run at the moment (I'm employed, but I work shifts) so I'd be happy to lend a good hand and put some money in.

For anyone who needs any evidence of what the Woodman could be, pop along to The Royal in Mottingham.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr P, Kit H, Plummy Mummy, et all.
Yes, let's have a meeting
Kit H, perhaps if your looking at this as a business opp. then perhaps you can take the lead in suggesting a place and time to meet somewhere in the shire?
I'm not a business-y person, but would certainly regularly patronise a good gastro pub or cafe, regularly, esp if there is a child-friendly area.
PLEASE keep us posted.

James H said...

The trouble that we encounter is that there is simply nowhere to meet up in the shire!!

How about The Royal in Mottingham? A source of inspiration? We may also have a potential investor in the owner there...

If we're serious about this, I think we should meet up for a drink and at least thrash out the idea. :-)

(By the way, Kit H was made up name I was going to use for a blog - James H is my real name!)

Anonymous said...

I personally think somewhere local is better, esp for those of us without a car and no idea how to get to mottingham(?).
How about The Star or The Old Mill??? Or, indeed, The Woodman itself!?!

Anonymous said...

I know the Royal. It is still a local pub for local people which is what Plumstead needs as I don't think we want to discourage anyone from coming in and propping up the bar, but it is clean, does good food, has a wine list, lets in children. Serves Sunday lunch and since it has been refurbished has a mix of clientele attracting professionals as well as white van man.

Doctor Pangloss said...

There's a fair bit of interest simmering away. A meeting of minds is certainly a good way to start the ball rolling.

Spread the word and let's get some brain storming going.

Anonymous said...

OK, someone (James H!) state a time, date and location of a metting.

The meeting really must be local though! I've got a little experience of trying to gather locals, and you won't get many there if you organise a meeting as far afield as Mottingham. (there are plenty without cars, etc)

I see no reason why the meeting can't be in The Woodman itself. It's not like the owner will be sitting there listening... and if we all go in there, the will have the clientel we'd like to see in there!

James H, be our leader!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with Anonymous who wrote on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 3:21:00 PM
No need for anything trendy and expensive. But something cosy and boho, where you can get some decent food and drink with respectable clientèle.

James H said...

Argh, I always end up being the leader!! Rebel with a cause!

How about Friday night (7th August) at 8pm in the Woodman itself?

(How busy is the place on a Friday night? If it's full of chavs, we'll not get a decent conversation under way!)

Doctor Pangloss said...

Did anyone meet up on Friday? Unfortunately, I was stuck at work.

Anonymous said...

I'm local to the pub and have been talking about this for ages. I would be keen to get involved as I have catering knowledge and have already talked to the Ablair people about their shop being a possible site for cafe if sold. We may have a problem in that it could be bought up like The Ship and turned into that kind of sports pub. Disaster!! this must not happen! The Bear pub in Deptforn high street was doing the cafe/arts centre/meeting place thing and it was always packed. This would be a good template to start with. Already imagining the pergola outside the front covered with grape vine!!

Victoria said...

Hi, I've just been reading all the comments ref. The Woodman, which interested me as last week I was driving past there twice a day taking my daughter to The Warehouse, formerly the Tramshed theatre which has moved to Plumstead. My husband & I were saying it would be great if someone opened a decent pub there, that served good food & had a family friendly atmosphere. Can someone please tell me, has the proposed meeting happened????

Anonymous said...

It's all boarded up now and looks quite run down. Any further updates regarding the meeting?

There's a new coffee shop on Lakedale Rd, reasonably priced coffee, worth a visit.

James said...

I haven't been to the new coffee shop on Lakedale Rd. Is it nicely done out, or a usual Plumstead money transfer, barbers, estate agency enterprise? What are these people bloody thinking??

It'd still be good to have a meeting. Maybe in this coffee shop then?

Anonymous said...

Hi James

The coffee shop is painted pale green, quite simple really. They have a coffee machine so serve REAL coffee, not instant! Prices are around £1.50. Frozen yoghurts, smoothies, soft drinks, paninis & cakes are avail. It's only opened recently and makes a pleasant change from the usual eateries on offer in Plumstead.
We should support this business as we have been crying out for something like this in Plumstead for a long time. The owners are open to feedback so pay them a visit and let them know what you think.

GrantD said...

Just walked past the Who'ed have thought it pub (never heard of it before), then did a search and it was used in the Aviva advert

http://www.pasoti.co.uk/talk/viewtopic.php?p=536726&sid=5a4bfcfb4c1ca83b25dd8341a3aef56b

Has any one been in there recently? There is a relatively Ok and recent review here

http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/leisure/food_and_drink/pubspy/4249280.Who_d_a_Thought_It__Timbercroft_Lane__Plumstead/

Anonymous said...

I shall check out the new cafe on Lakedale Road, but as it is down quite a steep hill I'm not sure when. I live just on the other side of the Common so The Slade, Woodman and the Dip would all be in skipping distance for me (yes, I know it's not ALL about me)! but the Common is really pretty and leafy and much better to look out over than a boarded up Co-op and barbers/money laundering/stolen mobile shop....

Now, what's this Warehouse thing and where is it??
Can anyone pull together a what's on in plumstead? I know there was a message board a while back that got so much spam but it would be great if we could get something going with a list of good takeaways, children's activities (Seeing as so many people seem to have them) on here!, local events (comedy etc), pubs we like (and those that do quizzes food etc), cafes, walks, bus routes etc etc..
I am happy to post lots of stuff to it but no idea how to set anything up like that...

FuzzyPeople said...

Here we are again! The freehold for the Prince of Wales is up for sale. The owners Admiral Taverns are accepting serious ofers around £450,000. Its been on the market for almost 6 months, perhaps £350k is not unrealistic.
Of course this is much more expensive than the Woodman. But I would argue it has much more potential and is better situated.

So what appetite for a community pub (with locally sourced slow food) a cafe/deli? Think fresh baked breads, wholesome foods, a true local resource with a diverse and inclusive clientel from the young to the old... one can only
dream perhaps or act
http://www.communitypubs.org/advice.htm

FuzzyPeople said...

A good example of a community run cafe/deli is the Station Hill in Telegraph Hill reviewed here: http://www.london-eating.co.uk/37794.htm

Pictures are here: http://thehill.org.uk/hillstation/index.html

Think on fellow dreamers - its time for action - lets meet soon to move forward