News, People

The Last Word – Ryan Chandler, owner of Meet Bernard

Hey, I’m a local dad, husband and owner of Meet Bernard the fashion and lifestyle store in Greenwich and East Dulwich. I’m a massive fan of this vibrant pocket of South East London that we live in…

How long have you lived in the area?

Dani and I have been loving in South London for the best part of 20 years around Brixton, Clapham, Camberwell and now Brockley.

What brought you here?

At the time it was the nightlife, but more recently affordable housing and good schools!

What has changed most during that time?

Apart from the house prices, the amount of really good places to eat. 10 years ago it was hard to find good restaurants in the area, now there is an abundance of fantastic restaurants.

What do you most value about the area/street you live in?

Without doubt the community of like-minded people around us, it’s so diverse and bohemian and creative and everyone is so supportive of what everyone else is doing.

What one thing would you change?

The pollution in London is my biggest gripe, it’s literally killing people.

The most famous person you’ve seen or met?

I’ve been lucky on my star spotting as my old job in TV brought me in close contact to lots of celebs. My favourite celeb story though was going to Paul McCartney’s house in St John’s Wood to interview him and he made me a cup of tea, not may people can say that!

Do you belong to any groups?

I belong to the Forest Hill Football Dads group. Currently at a strong 155 local Dads who meet up every Tuesday night to play some dads 5-a-side football.

Describe your perfect weekend

Going to see a band on a Friday night at the Brixton Academy. Saturday would be a late brunch at The Orchard in Brockley followed by some shopping in North Cross Road Market or the Brockley farmers’ market, then a film at the Everyman cinema in Crystal Palace. Sunday morning would be papers and breakfast in bed followed by a walk in Sydenham Woods and then a cracking roast dinner with lashings of red wine.

Where are you likely to be found on Saturday?

Saturday is our busiest day of the week at the store so I will often be with our brilliant customers on hand to give advice about the latest products or style advice. It’s the best part of the job being face to face with our customers, making sure our service is spot on and the store looking the best it possibly can be.

Cafe, pub or bar?

Pub – The Hermits Cave in Camberwell is my favourite, it’s an old man’s pub that serves great beer in a lively atmosphere full of the weird and the wonderful from all walks of life.

Peckham Rye with the kids, I can spend all day in there with them at all times of the year.

When I want to relax…

I love fishing… Sitting by water has a meditative effect on me, it’s mesmerizing.

What is your favourite shop?

Apart from Meet Bernard, Alkemi in Nunhead is probably the best shop in South London.

What was the last thing you bought there?

A small enamel spaceman badge…?

If money was no object…

I’d travel the world buying great product for our store or open a gallery.

The book I’m reading at the moment…

Papillon, in a word, Epic!