Clement Ogbonnaya, the trailblazing landlord of the iconic Prince of Peckham, has announced plans to continue his rejuvenation of London’s community pub scene with the launch of his new pub group, The Village People.
With a goal of opening five new locations over five years, the group intends to acquire old and disused pubs, and regenerate them into stylish, welcoming and inclusive multi-functional community hubs.
Raised in Peckham, Ogbonnaya opened his first pub to be a ‘solution to gentrification’, aiming to create a space for all to come and enjoy quality food and drink. Consequently, a key focus of The Village People group will be to educate its staff, customers and the wider community on local issues and challenges, as well as highlighting ways to make a positive difference.
Ogbonnaya has already put his plans into action and completed the purchase of his second location; set to open towards the end of the year and coinciding with the upcoming busy World Cup period, Queen of the South will be located in Tulse Hill. Decorated with a lively theme, the venue will be equipped with spaces for co-working and community meet-ups during the day and vibrant live events at night, complete with a games room and karaoke booth.
Outlining his vision to make public houses great again, landlord and founder Ogbonnaya commented: “I’ve worked in hospitality for 13 years and I’ve seen how the industry has changed throughout this time, both for the better and for the worse. While people are searching for a sense of belonging and community now more than ever, many British boozers have gone from being area hubs to laying empty and derelict, which is a tragedy. I think there’s a massive opportunity to rejuvenate the pub scene and bring them back to the heart of the community.
“Through Prince of Peckham and my new pub, Queen of the South, The Village People pub group will focus on hospitality over service. I’m excited to bring this ethos to my second pub in Tulse Hill – it’s an area with lots of promise and we’ve had a warm welcome from the locals we’ve already connected with.”
After celebrating five years of success running Peckham’s most popular pub, Clement has doubled down on his vision to make public houses public again with a new addition to his team: Community Manager, Eva Arnaiz. Formerly the Head of Inclusion and Social Impact at The Breakfast Club, Arnaiz has been tasked with developing the Community Outreach Programme, which will see the pub group support other local businesses through event space, special collaborations and grants.
Eva Arnaiz commented, “I’ve always been committed to delivering collaborative and innovative approaches to community outreach, and I can’t wait to bring this expertise to The Village People. The work Clement and the team have achieved over the past five years is amazing – Prince of Peckham is truly a beacon of the community, so I’m excited to work with and help bring together more communities around London.”