What’s going on with the Marie Lloyd bar?

I went past the Marie Lloyd bar again today and it’s not looking so much like a bar anymore, it’s full of food display cabinets – but the optics still look like there are there. Is it turning into a restaurant? Does anyone know?

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14 comments

  1. Profile photo of mattyc

    mattyc - 7 February 2011, 8:16 pm

    It’s being refurbished then opened & run by Urban Inns, who also run the Old Ship. Think there will be increased focus on daytime service, but still open as a bar in the evening

  2. Profile photo of ewebber

    ewebber - 7 February 2011, 8:22 pm

    @mattyc – ah cool thanks for the update, it’s never particularly full, so I guess they need to make a difference to bring the punters in.

  3. Profile photo of patricksmithjournalist

    patricksmithjournalist - 7 February 2011, 8:22 pm

    Thanks @mattyc for the info. I think that’s a good move; the Ship is a nice place to go in an area with very few \accessible” pubs that aren’t too trendy or too “dog on a string”.”

  4. Profile photo of mattyc

    mattyc - 7 February 2011, 8:41 pm

    I think the decision was taken as part of the savings proposals in 2009/10. Their 2010 Trustee’s Report says that \The autumn of 2010 has seen the start of a new service contract for running the theatre bars and catering operation. Early in 2011 the Marie Lloyd Bar will be renamed and refurbished as the Empire Cafe. The main customer-facing box office operation will move into this cafe area”.It definitely seems like too good a spot just to be used for pre-show drinks!”

  5. Profile photo of ewebber

    ewebber - 7 February 2011, 10:00 pm

    It’s a shame to see the name change – Marie Lloyd was a famous music hall performer from hoxton (more here) although prior to the refurb it was the Samuel Pepys”

  6. Profile photo of janice

    janice - 8 February 2011, 8:59 am

    No! I’m really disappointed that they are changing the name away from Marie Lloyd.She was the ultimate music hall performer and it was so fitting. Is it really too late to do/say anything about this?

  7. Profile photo of ewebber

    ewebber - 8 February 2011, 9:37 am

    It’s odd when it’s only been the Marie Lloyd since the refurb in 05 (can anyone verify this date?)I’m sure the council can let you know more – um… cos the planning department always know what’s going on… um

  8. Profile photo of mattyc

    mattyc - 8 February 2011, 1:40 pm

    I agree about the name, what a shame to choose to remove that link to the theatre’s past. The new name will be Empire Cafe, and it’s definitely non-negotiable as it’s already on their windows! The menu boards are offering sandwiches and salads, as well as coffee, ‘colonial’ teas and Meantime beers (which I think are also sold in the Ship). Not sure when they plan to open but it’s looking good inside.”

  9. Profile photo of anttix

    anttix - 8 February 2011, 2:01 pm

    I really liked the Marie Lloyd name, but I think this change is to be welcomed; ‘Empire Café’ is very descriptive of what the place is and also suggests that it is open to all, rather than just theatre goers.

  10. Profile photo of alexpink

    alexpink - 8 February 2011, 6:17 pm

    Regarding Marie Lloyd, is there a blue plaque on the outside of the Empire?

  11. Profile photo of ewebber

    ewebber - 8 February 2011, 6:25 pm

    Check over here. There is a blue plaque on Graham Road”

  12. Profile photo of ewebber

    ewebber - 11 February 2011, 1:33 pm

    Just saw this tweet from @hackneyempire:Have you been to our new Empire Cafe? Its looking great and perfect for afternoon tea!Looks like it is open then – anyone been?

  13. Profile photo of mattyc

    mattyc - 11 February 2011, 5:37 pm

    Yeah I went on Weds, which I think was their first day open. Should probably be described as a ‘soft launch’- their extensive sandwich menu was unavailable, but they did have some pre-made ones and some salady bits. The manager was enthusiastic and welcoming (had a very smart curly moustache), but was flanked by almost a dozen staff who sadly had no idea what they were doing. Didn’t venture to the coffees, but the ham & cheese sarnie I had was okay.Will definitely be going back, but think they need a bit of time to settle in.As they say it is looking great, it just feels like they opened in a hurry. On the up side, they have the same mad wallpaper as the Ship!

  14. Profile photo of janice

    janice - 12 February 2011, 8:47 am

    ooh afternoon tea sounds great! we need that in hackney. if it’s a proper one i’ll go for sure. doesn’t tempt me so far. caffe theatro isn’t bad either but that’s another thread

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