Joanna’s was born in 1978, the concept of husband and wife John and Christina Ellner. The site itself was half the size we see today and the theme was largely American. At the time the menu was one of the first of its kind in South London, showcasing various steaks, burgers and grills. Accompanying the theme from the menu was a cocktail bar and short wine list. The complete package created such demand for the few tables that queues formed outside regularly! John’s passion for food and drink was only matched by his love of (loud) music and frequently deafening blasts of Sinatra favourites could be heard by those in the restaurant and the hopefuls in the queue.

On occasions when John wasn’t looking after the music, the featured piano was played and as the rhyming slang had it, someone would be “playing the old Joanna”. From this saying the restaurant took its name.

After trading for seven years the bakery next door was acquired and building work commenced to transform the restaurant into the two dining rooms we now see. Over the next few years the wooden panelling and reception booth was installed along with the private room, (which incidentally many believe to be original!).

Joanna’s has been a staple in neighbourhood dining over the years and has successfully kept abreast of and sometimes set trends in food and service. The menu at present reflects the restaurant’s history while featuring British favourites and international flavours.

Although much speculation has occurred over the years as to the ownership of Joanna’s, the restaurant has never changed hands. To this day the restaurant remains in the Ellner family, however John and Christina are less involved and the operations are run by their son William Ellner.

Joanna’s remains an integral part of the local community while continuing to push the boundaries of neighbourhood dining.

We look forward to welcoming you soon.

Joanna HistoryJoannas exteriorJoanna