Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Mansion House Pub seeks seven day opening until 4am

You'll all be pleased to hear that a new pub is to open in Kennington (or, perhaps I should more accurately say, Newington, but more on that later) just next door to the Old Red Lion.   Mansion House Pub (46 - 48 Kennington Park Road) is to re-open (allegedly some time in May, although they'll need to get a move-on if the scaffolding is anything to go by).  Theoretically, it's good news.  The pub plans to specialise in Real Ale and "pan-Asian cuisine" (I confess I'm a tad sceptical about the cuisine... would you ever visit Toulouse Lautrec if they said they offered pan-European food?  Possibly not.)  But a new pub/restaurant beats an empty building, and new jobs are good for the area so you might tell me to quit whinging.  You all miss my whinging, right?

I predicted some time ago when the Old Red Lion were opening that two pubs would be unfeasible on account of the fact that the Public House business has become mired in regulation (smoking ban) and taxation (on just about bogging everything), and a lot of people (judging by the top deck of my bus) prefer to drink straight from a can of Tesco's lager...  Also, Kennington is stuffed full of pubs at present, and it's hardly THAT far to walk between the Old Red Lion and the White Bear Theatre Pub, is it?  Sid Boggle (a reader here at Lurking) has heard heard that the pub might be named Oaka, presumably because the company that owns it is named Oakham Ales.  How original.  Let's hope they change their mind... 

The local SE11 public might rather hope they'll change their mind about something else too.  That is, the opening hours.  If you go and take a look at the hoarding outside, and you happen to be 8 feet tall (I am not joking), you will see that the Oaka or Mansion House or whatever it's called is applying for licencing hours from 7am to 4am.  What, just on Saturday nights?  Umm, nope.  That would be EVERY NIGHT.  If you don't believe me, you can go and read the Licencing Application on the Lambeth website.  And if that wasn't enough (because, arguably, people that drink until 4am are known for their quiet comportment), they've applied for live music licence from 10am until 3am!  Oh dear.  Clearly somebody didn't do their research.  Remember the hubub when the White Hart/Tommyfield threatened to try and open until 1am.  The Cleaver Square residents got their way, I believe.  Gosh, it would be great if a modern, suave, inner-city, urban-priest would show up at this point to protect our poor "run down" Kennington and save the day...  I wonder whether there might be the odd loose canon in the area who could lend a hand?

Fortunately, some rather tall soul has noticed this attempt to ruin our quiet residential area (ignoring the double red-route main road that never sleeps) and has scrawled in GREAT BIG letters on the hoarding "4am", so I spotted it as I strolled around the area.  Surely it's illegal to place a licencing notice so high up that nobody can actually read it?  Already a concerned reader and local resident emailed me to ask for support.  So, here is some support:

46 Kennington Park Road is in Princes Ward.  Cllr Stephen Morgan (our resident enthusiastic emailer), Cllr Mark Harrison and Cllr Lorna Campbell will no doubt only be too pleased to hear from you.  They have actually posted the news on their own blog, but judging from lack of comments, nobody is reading!  Just click on their names, and you can send them an email!  Why not email them all for good measure?  There's more information about Making A Representation re. licencing here.

I'm rather late off the mark, so you'll need to send in a response by 27th April 2012.  Be quick, and can somebody tell the Kennington Association et al?

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