The wall between the front bar and the large back room has been knocked through to create a large open space, complete with a new pizza oven. The food is mainly in the under ten pound bracket, with quite a few vegetarian options (not just pizza).
It is the freshly decked outside area at the back that has the real wow factor. If you've been there before you may remember there's an outbuilding there, perhaps originally a stable. Think it was where the barbecue was located in the 1990s GMT. Anyway it now has a new floor in it to create a kind of two storey outdoor snug complete with table football. It felt like being in a bar in Italy or Greece, mind you it had been a sunny day!
As explored at Transpontine before, this is an iconic pub with New Cross the area actually named after the New Cross House. In its long history it has been through many transformations, some of them still fondly remembered. Now with a substantial facelift it awaits its public. Who knows exactly what kind of pub it will be this time? The great thing about pubs is that ultimately it is the people who choose to go there and the things they do that create the atmosphere.
It certainly won't be like the 1990s Goldsmiths Tavern with its 'crusty' outlaw vibe, but that was very much a product of the times and its musical, social and cultural environment. You couldn't recreate that now if you wanted to - and I am sure Capital Pubs who now own it don't want to! But it has every chance of it becoming a vibrant social space where people can eat, drink, listen to music, laugh, argue, fall in love and all the other things that human beings do in public.
The last section of original tiling in the New Cross House, probably dating back to when the current building went up in the late 19th century. The newly refurbished pub features a specially designed wallpaper based on these tiles.
More reviews and photos at Brockley Central, Hollow Legs and Deptford Dame.