It’s more than three and a half years since Herne Hill was devastated by a flood caused by a burst water main. Businesses took months to recover, in some cases years, while others simply never re-appeared (see our article of December 2013).
The Half Moon Pub was probably the worst affected of all and it seemed for a time that it may never re-open, as there was a proposal by the landlords to convert it into flats. A local community group campaigned to save the famous old pub suffering the fate of many other south London pubs, and in December 2015 succeeded in having the building listed as an ‘Asset of Community Value‘, which meant a change of use would prove very difficult.
Eventually, Fullers, the west London based brewery and pub chain took a lease on the pub and started a major refurbishment. On Monday this week the Half Moon officially re-opened and I was able to have a good look around to see what the ‘new’ Half Moon looked like. Well, you have to be impressed with the quality of the re-furb – the main bar has been lovingly restored and in particular the wood and glass panelling looks amazing. The rear bar, formerly the music venue, has been turned into a lovely dining area, while there is now a well-designed garden at the rear, which will be very popular in the warmer weather. There’s also a private function room at the rear, which I’m sure will also be well-patronised.
The one negative point is the loss of the music venue, which could not be resurrected for various commercial reasons. However, on the plus side, the Half Moon is now a hotel (12 rooms) as well as a pub, providing a welcome addition to the pretty sparse availability of accommodation in this part of south London. Overall, reaction seems to be very positive – I think everyone is pleased that finally, this popular pub has been restored to (above and beyond) its former glory.
The Half Moon, Half Moon Lane, SE24 9HU