London & South East Premier Hospitality

Charlotte Southwark

Written by Roma Publications

The Charlotte

The Charlotte, a brand new pub in the London borough of Southwark, opened its doors for the first time at the end of November 2017. Located within a double height railway arch space, The Charlotte blends live music and sport with high quality food and drink.

The Charlotte is the latest venture for owner Steve Novak who operates a number of pubs and casual dining establishments across the capital. The unique space in which The Charlotte now operates was previously occupied by the Union Theatre but after relocating across the road an opportunity arose to create something new.


Working within tight parameters set by Network Rail, Steve and his team worked with contractor Mark Brown to transform the empty shell into a vibrant pub using bold artwork and colours. Speaking to Premier Hospitality, Steve explained the reasoning behind launching this new venture and how The Charlotte’s designed evolved over time:

“The foundation of our company is casual dining but I am swiftly trying to exit that because I think it is a very difficult business. We opened a pub two years ago called The Earlsfield and that has done very well. What we’re trying to deliver is a little bit more than just plates of food. It’s an experience with live music, sport and food. It’s sort of a next generation sports bar where the food is as good as any gastro pub but the venue is a bit of a chameleon. From doing coffees and brunch to evening meals and parties late into the evening, it’s a flexible space.

“The site is what used to be the union street theatre. Network Rail put a new skin in it and we came in and created a pub. We were restricted by the fact you’re not allowed to put anything into the skin of the building, you can’t drill into the walls. We built a steel frame that everything is suspended from and that was quite a challenge in terms of design but its worked out well.

“We design as we go along and create it ourselves. I suppose the theme was along the line of the union jack because we’re on Union Street. We didn’t want union in the name though because everything on Union Street has ‘union’ in its name. The Charlotte comes from the fact this end of the street used to be called Charlotte Street. Obviously you’ve got huge walls because it’s more like a viaduct than a railway arch. For acoustic purposes that’s not very good so we got we used union jacks to cover the expansive walls. We wanted to create a pub downstairs and a funky bar with cocktails and a grill upstairs.”

Alongside the large indoor space, The Charlotte also boosts a beer garden that increases the venue’s appeal. The food and drink offering takes it lead from other venues in the family and centres on a hearty mix of burgers, wings and ribs complemented by locally sourced drinks. Open in time for the busy Christmas period, feedback for The Charlotte has been positive, with Steve adding:

“The feedback so far has been good. We’ve had glowing reviews from the Christmas bookings we’ve had which is great. It’s a central London location but it’s not in the city so there are people living around here and we hope to get a 7 day week out of it. As we move out of casual dining, it’s our biggest venue so far and also has a beer garden. We’re restricted by our casual dining venues and pubs because they don’t have outdoor space so this should help with turnover.”

For more information on The Charlotte, please visit



Contratti offer comprehensive manufacturing, supply and installation services, providing quality furniture to the leisure and hospitality industry, together with office, educational and retail outlets. The company has been in operation for more than ten years, recently undergoing a re-brand in April 2017.

Over the years, Contratti are proud to have contributed to a number of major projects, providing a wide range of fixed seating, furniture and upholstery. The list includes Dirty Martini London, Dirty Martini Manchester, Dirty Martini Leeds, Club One Ascot, Cloud 23 Manchester, the Fab4 Café Liverpool and Aqua Worthing, amongst others.

Every project has a different requirement and Contratti are able to improve facilities by making custom furniture to meet the design requirements of the venue.

Recently, Contratti has supplied furniture to The Charlotte.

Bobby Fitzpatrick, Contratti, said:

“In order to build a long term relationship with suppliers, contractors, architects and interior designers, we pride ourselves in making sure we can produce a complete seating project to exceed expectations and meet budget and timescale requirements for our clients.”

Bobby added:

“As fixed seating specialists we can add that extra bit of sparkle to any venue. We are renowned for environmental best practices and are particularly focused on waste reduction, efficient use of natural resources, re-use and recycling.

“All these elements, combined with our exceptional customer service and high levels of professionalism, make us one of the UK’s leading contract furniture & upholstery specialists.”


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Roma Publications

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