It's been a couple of months since I wrote anything - life intrudes. The last thing I blogged about is the next, and it concerns the new Oakham pub in Kennington.
I contacted Oakham, who told me that their pubs are actually operated by a sister business, the Oaka Group. Oaka never got back to me with any info about opening etc. I wasn't asking for anything confidential - after all, there's a ten foot banner on the hoarding outside the building site that will eventually reveal, chrysalis-like, their pub. However, I did uncover a weird quirk which suggests that Oakham won't directly supply their pub. Instead, the lovely beer will come via Borough market's Utobeer.
Then I saw that their licence application to Lambeth Council had gone in. It appears as if the pub name will remain as The Mansion House, and that they are asking for a late licence to 4am. The offer will be real ale with pan-Asian cuisine and a range of entertainment, including dancing, film shows, live and piped music. They intend to have pavement seating as well.
My council insider said that some misgivings had already been expressed over the late licence, which could delay the application. This bit of Kennington has the tube station, but you need to walk 10 minutes towards the river to get to what would be the town centre, so it's possible the council would consider a 4am licence in a mostly residential part of the neighbourhood to be too much. I don't know what time Antic's Old Red Lion are licenced until, but their latest closing time is midnight. I'll keep my ear to the ground.
In the meantime, there's no sign of work being completed, so the May opening doesn't look likely right now.
Update: Neighbourhood blogger Lurking About SE11 has also picked up on the story. He notes a previous attempt to get late opening in a pub on Kennington Cross fell to opposition from locals. Lurking's call to action might be a bit too late (deadline for representations closed yesterday), but this one may run a while.