The Fellowship and Star Opens in South London Following a £4 Million Renovation
The Fellowship and Star, a Phoenix Community Housing project, is an expansive 1920s building steeped in rich history. The brand new space includes a cinema, a venue for live music and comedy, a fully restored bar with extensive seating space, a café and rehearsal rooms. The opening has created 70 new jobs, along with at least 45 apprentice positions over the next 15 years alongside volunteering opportunities for the Bellingham community.
Originally built in 1923 as the first-ever pub on a London housing estate, the Fellowship was part of the ‘Homes for Heroes’ development, designed to offer space to First World War veterans and their families. The building had two bars, a 200-seater dance and music hall, a 2260ft function room, which often hosted wedding receptions, an off-license bottle shop and family accommodation across two floors.
The Bar - Before and after
The pub was later a training venue to the heavyweight boxer Henry Cooper ahead of his 1963 fight with Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) and was a popular music venue in the 1960s that saw performances from Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and the Yardbirds featuring Eric Clapton amongst many others. After a serious decline during the 1980s leaving only the front bar in operation, Phoenix took over the freehold in 2014 and successfully applied for Lottery funding in the hope that the building could be restored to the thriving community venue it is becoming and act as a catalyst for regenerating the wider area.
The venue is now a vast space for people of all ages from all corners of the community. The pub has something to offer for everyone making it truly unique, away from pretension and trends, they concentrate on quality food and drink, people, entertainment and music in venues full of character.
People can enjoy popcorn, sausage rolls and food from the bar while they watch the latest films in the original cinema which has seen a premium restoration bring it back to life. Spider-Man Far From Home, the latest film in the Spiderman franchise, was the venues first movie before an eclectic lineup of blockbusters and independent films is unveiled.
The cinema - Before and after
The performance room features a bar, seating and a large staging area for tribute bands such as Johnny Cash on 19th July and the London Astrobeat Orchestra on 26th July amongst many other acts to be announced. The space is warm and welcoming and has an open arm feel, inviting all guests to get comfortable and enjoy what’s to come. The Fellowship is working with local breweries and beverage suppliers such as the independent craft brewery, the taproom Brockley Brewery and Ignition Brewery who both celebrate and embrace communal spaces and building strong relationships with customers and local businesses, something that The Fellowship is truly passionate about. The pub also serves coffee from the independent and local roasters Volcano Coffee in the cafe. There will be pastries, quiches, light bites and both non-alcoholic and alcoholic refreshments available. The Fellowship and Star is part of The Electric Star Group, the incredible team behind the network of independent venues across London communities including The Leyton Star and The Star of Bethnal Green. Their pubs offer a safe haven from pretension and trends, concentrating on quality food, drink, people, entertainment and music in venues with character. Aiding their venue development, the group established a working culture where everybody gets heard, and collaboration is key.