Upstairs At The Department Store (restaurant)

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by ringo, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    Is this the same lot who had the French restaurant on Acre Lane of the same name?

    I emailed them the other week and they told me they weren't giving out memberships any more. Just called the number on their website for guest reservations to try and book an anniversary dinner and was told they don't take bookings from non-members.

    Bit snobby innit? It's not like there aren't hundreds of decent restaurants in London cooking good food. I'd rather go somewhere that gives me a warm welcome and makes me feel like they deserve the price of a good plate of food than deal with stuck up attitudes like this. It's hardly Claridges.

    Or is there some kind of legal restriction suggested by this that I'm not aware of?

    "Our rooftop location means guests must be registered with us before we can take reservations. To make a guest reservation for dining or drinks please email or call 020 3598 6970"

    Gramsci likes this.
  2. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    It's just elitist shit. Fuck the Department store and their filthy rich luxury clients.
  3. Tricky Skills

    Tricky Skills Well-Known Member

    Upstairs along Acre Lane was the most overrated and overpriced place to eat in town.
    editor likes this.
  4. TruXta

    TruXta tired

    Only in the latter part of its existence. The first few years, while they still had the downstairs bar, it was pretty damned good ime.
  5. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    Wasn't upstairs on Acre Lane something to do with Philippe Castaing?
  6. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    If they're turning away bookings on a Thursday night when they have free tables out some kind of desire for exclusivity then balls to them. The woman I spoke to told me she'd only call back if they could find
    my email address in their directory. That's a pretty poor level of service from someone that wants my money.

    Not a great business model in a competitive food market like Brixton is these days either.

    The old Upstairs was alright, had good food but it felt a bit like eating in someone's front room and I didn't think it good enough value to go back.
  7. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    A bit of googling would seem to indicate that they don't have a licence, so are operating for "guests" only as a way of getting around that in the short term.
    TopCat likes this.
  8. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    I wondered that, but it doesn't excuse not giving out memberships. Twats. I don't want to feel exclusive. I want to feel welcomed and comfortable so that I can enjoy good food and company.

    The menu doesn't really look that special either, it's gastropub level at best and I can do that at home.

    The only good thing about these "exclusive" places is that the kind of people who want to feel exclusive will be there and not be where I am.
  9. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    Brixton Green & Pop Brixton's finest. What great he does for the Brixton community.
    Gramsci and Tricky Skills like this.
  10. TruXta

    TruXta tired

    Him and his wife ran both Upstairs and Opus iirc.
  11. shakespearegirl

    shakespearegirl just worked out taglines

    When it first opened it was really good food and was great at accommodating Mr Shakes veganness. It was definitely in the special occasion price bracket though. The last couple of times we went there it wasn't anywhere near as good and it felt like being a vegan was being difficult.
  12. TruXta

    TruXta tired

    Definitely never a cheap eat.
  13. sw16er

    sw16er Well-Known Member

    I personally would not have anything to do with an establishment like this given your experience with them.

    They are too busy to take custom? Wow...just wow....

    Regardless of whether they have legal restrictions, at the very least they should give everybody a warm welcome, how difficult can it really be to respond to enquiries in a warm manner?

    I can't comment on the quality of the restaurant as I have not been here and did not frequent their space on Acre Lane due to the Membership malarkey which I find plain ridiculous TBH.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
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  14. shakespearegirl

    shakespearegirl just worked out taglines

    You didn't have to be a member to go to Upstairs
  15. sw16er

    sw16er Well-Known Member

    My bad. For some reason I thought you had to be a member at the old place too?

    I never actively attempted to go to there old place as I was put off by something...I cannot for the live of me remember what it was now...I thought it was membership...maybe it was something else.
  16. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

    Squires Architects at the Department Store have Downstairs event space and Upstairs which is their own restaurant which to generate extra income is now also a members only semi public arrangement when available - if you have got your name on the list....
    Gramsci likes this.
  17. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    Some twat has piped up

  18. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    If that's a response to this thread then there's a lesson in spectacularly missing the point and proving the premise of the thread. Imagine being stuck on a table next to that monumental bell end.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
    Gramsci, sealion and Tricky Skills like this.
  19. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    To be fair he has a point. I don't know anything about licensing law but there may well be a limit imposed if they are to exploit that loophole to operate before their licence is sorted.

    People have been quick to jump to conclusions with no evidence to support them.
    Gleena, hungry_squirrel and sealion like this.
  20. alcopop

    alcopop Banned Banned

    It’s really easy to get membership
  21. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    Is the restaurant exclusive? Why, yes it most certainly is.
    Have they made efforts to invite the wider community? None that I can see.
    Are 'normal' non well-off Brixton folk likely to get in or even know it exists? Unlikely, I'd say.
    Is it owned by loaded architects who create luxury palaces., lavish hotels and mega-houses for the super rich? Why, yes it is.

    To argue that it's only those pesky licensing restrictions that's preventing the restaurant from flinging its doors wide open to all of Brixton is a bit lalaland.
    sw16er, Miss-Shelf and blameless77 like this.
  22. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    Loaded architects who also design a load of social housing. They are a company. They do stuff for money. Get over it.

    I like what they've done with the building. It had been under-utilised for a while and Lambeth have been complaining that office use was shrinking in the area so that's a win.

    I also like that they have made access available to their private space rather than us having to wait until open house London. Like you I'd have liked to have seen it more widely advertised as, like the OP I've found out about it too late to have a look.
    Waladli, alcopop and hungry_squirrel like this.
  23. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    Do you mean our lovely Kevin here or the staff member?

    Our Kevin doesn't have a point regarding the membership. He's suggesting that the membership has merit because it's keeping people like me out, which is funny, but bollocks. The membership was not selective, members are in no way better or more suitable than non-members. He's using the illusion of exclusivity to claim superiority. Hardly a new trick, but one most of us would like to see the back of, along with the self-entitled pricks who use it to climb on the backs of others.

    The place might be subject to membership restrictions but I judged them not on that, but their poor customer service, their website, their menu and their reputation.

    The staff member didn't explain the reason and told me she would only call me back if they could book us in. I expect better customer care than that, who's going to wait around for a call that will probably never come?

    I might make some sort of effort for a Michelin starred restaurant, but not a place serving ten pound pub food with dismissive staff, a sense of worth far beyond their position and the elitist reputation they've already earned on these boards.
    existentialist and sealion like this.
  24. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    How much 'social housing' exactly?

    Most of their portfolio seems to be about catering to the important whims of the super-super rich. You know the kind of people who are busy stuffing their faces with luxury while the vast majority struggle to get a decent meal on their plate everyt day.
  25. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    No. My post was in relation purely to his comment on the reaction here. Clearly, if there were factors outside their control then the people you dealt with should have explained the situation.
  26. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    I've taken a look but been unable to locate their many 'social housing' designs as you claimed.

    You said there was "loads" of them, so perhaps you could list some of them here? Thanks.
  27. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    Would you prefer that they didn't design any? Would it make it easier to vilify them?
  28. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    I couldn't find ANY of their social housing designs, let alone the "loads" you claimed. Where are they please?
  29. SpamMisery

    SpamMisery Pretty comfortable here right under your skin

    In all fairness, it's difficult to expect any level of customer service if you're not actually a customer
    Gleena and alcopop like this.
  30. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

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