Herne Hill’s The Half Moon pub – a cavernous pile and bona fide south London institution – was much missed when it closed after disastrous flooding in 2013. Luckily for the denizens and drinkers of SE24, the celestial stalwart has reopened, and it’s been given a sprucing by ubiquitous mega-brewery Fuller’s (though the live music aspect that made its name is conspicuously absent).
It looks fab, the main bar replete with archaic room dividers, stucco ceilings, stained glass, copper beer taps – 20 of ’em, with a great selection of local craft beers from Canopy, Gypsy Hill, Brixton et al among the brewery standards and populist lagers – studded leather furniture and swathes of warm wood. (The cycling pics in the loos are a nice nod to the velodrome a few roads west.) There’s a smarter restaurant in the lofty back room, tons of seating in the back courtyard area (with outside bar, barbecue and central wood burner) and a cavernous barn space behind that, plus rooms upstairs. It’d be easy to get lost.
It’s a fine place for a drink, attracting a social cross-section of Brixton-area locals, families, hipsters, clocked-off workmen and after-work boozehounds. The bar food was average at best – pub classics done greasily, though some crisp fried pumpkin gnocchi were grand – but as local watering holes go, The Half Moon’s something of a returning hero. Long may it prosper.