I like Ignition; a craft-brewing social enterprise that employs people with learning difficulties. Their main Sydenham taproom is my local and as close to a Cheers bar scenario as I’ve ever found, because of the welcome I get when I go in. Ignition operates as a not-for-profit venture, investing purely in its longevity and creating more jobs in the future. Drinking in the taproom doesn’t just make you feel good, it makes you a good person. Well, that’s how I see it. I was interested to see if the good people of Catford felt similarly, and how the Ignition folk would fare in a new location.
The pop-up is well-hidden in the old Broadway Theatre, a certain amount of stealth and endurance is required to find it via the old-stage door and a maze of corridors and staircases. But persevere I did, following the Ignitions signs and marvelling at the art-deco design features along the way. Ignition’s secret speakeasy glistens deep within the belly of the beast, beaming with fairy-lights and miss-matched wallpaper. I am served immediately by Chris, and all is well. Ignition’s Jumpstart IPA is my favourite beer, I think about it on the way home from work and it tastes just as good in Catford. The rooms feel newly-loved by the artworks on the wall and the bar staff look happy and excited to be here. There is a lot of chatting and the drinks are pouring well. It looks like beer and good vibes travel well after all, and I am reminded that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.
Ignition’s Catford pop-up: Fridays and Saturdays 8th November – 21st December 1800-2200, The Broadway Theatre, Catford Broadway, Catford, London SE6 4RU