My name is Ash. There's a pub at the end of my road which has become the focal point for me and my family. My wife works shifts there, I take my son to play darts there, I meet friends there. I also run a twice-weekly Dungeons and Dragons game there.
Like myself, many other friends of The Alexandra are deeply concerned about the hole that the closure of the pub would create. Coming out of Covid-19 restrictions is something that we all cannot wait for and being back there is something I cling my hopes to as a sign that normality will return. The Alexandra is however in danger of being a victim of the pandemic.
This is a direct plea to help me save this special place and reach a fund of £35,000 to help it survive.
Due to the government-enforced Covid restrictions, The Alexandra is struggling to survive and under threat of closure. When permitted to open during the pandemic, they went above and beyond to create a safe environment for their customers, but enforced closure has driven them to rapidly adapt their business model to run as a takeaway and delivery service. Their fantastic food and beer selection has remained popular, but they’re competing against big-name takeaway services, drastically impacting their traditional revenue streams.
Why do I care, is probably what you are thinking at this point so I thought I would tell you a little more about why this place is deserving of your help.
This place has come to mean a hell of a lot to myself and a group of friends. It’s a special place with pretty special owners and a lot of special punters. Let's take a look around the place and meet the owners...
Since the Alexandra reopened 3 years ago it has become a hub in the community. This much-loved pub has stood in Penge, South East London since 1870.
As well as serving the best triple-cooked chips I’ve ever tasted, this amazing place has regularly held philosophy nights, live music, vinyl nights, children’s playgroups, and church events. The Alexandra is always keen to welcome and support local communities and causes.
None of this is possible without the owners, Jozef and Izabela, who are passionate about their place in the community and the service that they provide.
Jozef and Izabela have always prioritized paying their staff first, to the point where their own finances are at risk during these difficult times.
Over the three years, they have turned The Alexandra into a true community pub, a place where everyone is welcome and everyone knows your name.
Life at the Alexandra
The Alexandra’s food is fantastic, they serve some of the best burgers, pizza and wings I’ve ever tasted. They have a relentless dedication to quality ingredients and presentation and it shines through in their food. This is coming from someone who has eaten a lot of food all over the world. Just writing this is making me hungry.
They also have a constantly revolving selection of some of London’s best craft beers and are always eager for customers to try their latest finds. The Alexandra is very keen on supporting local breweries and their selection always reflects an intention to invest and support local businesses.
D&D at The Alexandra
On top of all I've said above this is another reason The Alexandra means so much to my oddball group of friends.
If you play Dungeons and Dragons you probably know how hard it is to find and organise a group of people to play with, let alone finding an accommodating place to play.
For the past two and half years, twice a week the Alexandra has been the home of our D&D family.
If you head to the Alexandra on a Tuesday or a Sunday night you will find a group of adult’s sat around a table speaking in strange voices and rolling dice to determine their fates on an imaginary mythical adventure.
(At this point for those reading this who have no idea what this is all about, roleplaying games involve a group of people acting as different characters and interacting with a Games or Dungeon Master. Together they create a platform for interactive storytelling. It's like a video game, only we use more powerful computers … our brains).
The pub had the idea to set up a weekly game night and asked for volunteers to run Dungeons and Dragons. I put out a post on social media asking for volunteers and started running two sessions with total strangers. These strangers have become firm friends to me and to each other. I really can’t express the emotion that this stirs in me since it was utterly unexpected.
My volunteering in the first place was really borne out of the fact that I wanted to help the owners as much as possible, a sentiment shared by all the D&D crew. Well, the place needs your help now and it needs a wider group of adventurers to save it.
We’ve been noisy, we’ve been drunk, we’ve stayed too long but we’ve always been accommodated.
After two and a half years of playing, we have had our living room taken away from us due to Covid but the team has stayed together. The magic that the pub has given us, is that of friendship. It’s brought together ten people who now have become a circle of friends, a mini-gaming society when none of us had anyone or just as importantly, anywhere to play.
The circle of players has extended as well. It’s fairly a regular occurrence to have a query from other customers asking how they can join. Jozef, the landlord has also played and joined for an entire campaign (he was brilliant as a preacher).
When 2 separate campaigns reached a story crossover, the pub hosted us for an entire day, including D&D themed food to boot as well as themed cocktails.
This is me, reaching for a scotch egg (always a runny yolk).
This is just what the Alexandra has done for us and just one story and perspective. This pub means so much to everyone else who is lucky enough to love it as we do.
How can you help?
Please, if you can spare any level of donation, you can help us to keep a very magical place open.
This fundraiser is linked to the Alexandra’s business account, all donations go directly to helping the business.
DonationsSee top donations
- Matthew Clear
- Bastian K
- Ian Barrington
- Sarah Reed
Fundraising team: The Alexandra Gaming Society (4)
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