Pub News - February 2020

In this column in the last issue of Pints West we reported the White Lion in Nailsea as closed ("...the White Lion has closed, hopefully temporarily so it could be open by the time you read this."). This was not the case - it is, in fact, open and trading under the stewardship of John Lindsay as it has been for the past seven years. We apologise to readers for this misinformation, and we have apologised to John for the error regarding his pub.

There are a lot of closed pubs about the city. The historic tourist attraction in King Street, the Llandoger Trow, the high-Victorian classic in Old Market, the Palace Hotel, and the well-positioned Scotchman & His Pack on St. Michael's Hill are but three, but after years closed the Old Castle Green on Gloucester Lane in Old Market was due to re-open as a pub in February. The Palace Hotel has been closed for two years but this flagship pub is too good to be idle and really should be enjoyed by all pub-goers, so if there's anyone out there looking at taking on a characterful and very smart landmark city pub then please consider this one. We are hopeful of a long-awaited refurbishment and opening of the Printer's Devil in Broad Plain. This pub closed over ten years ago and has remained dormant amongst the regenerative re-development that has happened around it.

It has been said to us, unsurprisingly, that English Heritage may be interested in what might happen at the Llandoger Trow. We know that Whitbread has offered the lease on this spectacular building which closed last April. The Bank Tavern on John Street, right in the centre of Bristol, is the recipient of The Observer food monthly Sunday roast award. If you want to try one you'd better be patient - the waiting list for a Sunday lunch table could take you well into 2021!

Great news at the Hare On The Hill in Kingsdown. It is now off the market with a new five year lease agreed with Ed Johnson and Liz Chambers who have been running it for the past year. They have given it a refurbishment which includes the eccentric and quirky. There are two lines for ales from Lost & Grounded, while other Bristol breweries and those from further afield will also feature.

Jenna Graves left the Three Tuns in St. George's Road, West End on 23 December to start off the brand new Cloak and Dagger, a five-room events space with two bars on Cheltenham Road. However, the Three Tuns re-opened early January under the same management as The Golden Guinea in Redcliffe, Steam Crane in Southville and the Rising Sun in Bedminster. Spot on.

A refusal for change of use to residential has been made on the Adam and Eve in Hotwells. Its owner wanted conversion into flats but will need to think again. Christie & Co are advertising a free of tie lease on the Lansdown on Clifton Road, right in the heart of all things happening. This pub is a Good Beer Guide regular and its Guide entry says 'Traditional pub with a strong real ale offering, mainly from South West breweries. Beers from local independent breweries among the five or six on offer, which change every few months, and there is often a good mix of styles. An upstairs lounge/dining room is available for functions. Good food is available weekend lunchtimes and every evening. The courtyard garden is heated and covered in winter, shows rugby on a big screen, and is the venue of occasional Lansdown 30 beer festivals where all the beers are sourced from within 30 miles of the pub.' We're very much hoping a new leaseholder can continue these popular offerings.

In Stapleton regarding the Merchants Arms, we are told the Local Government Ombudsman has appointed an inspector to investigate the local community association complaint alleging ineffective enforcement action since the pub closed nearly three years ago. Furthermore, we're told the owners have now engaged a new set of consultants and are working up new development proposals prior to submitting a pre-application. We await developments.

We are told there is an interested party considering the purchase of the Blackbirds on Stapleton Road in Easton. A free of tie lease has featured in the Morning Advertiser on the George and Dragon at Redfield, advertised at £85k. Towards the city from here, the Redfield has yet to gain a suitor. This pub was recreated as part of an expansion of the building to increase living space a couple of years ago. The new pub space makes an ideal location at the city end of Church Road's leisure scene.

Switching across from East Bristol to Redcliffe's Commercial Road, the former Velindra has had a major conversion into Cock & Tail cocktail bar. The emphasis is, of course, on cocktails but ales from St. Austell and Bath Ales are available on cask. Following a public meeting in early December regarding saving the Windmill on Windmill Hill, an application has been made for 'First-floor extension and change of use of The Windmill Public House from Use Class A4 and conversion into five flats (Use Class C3). Reinstatement of the basement beneath 3 Eldon Terrace to residential use. Proposed external alterations and sub-division of the rear garden area.' The planning application is 19/06116/F. A group of committed individuals have formed Save the Windmill Campaign, a working group focusing on raising money from the sale of community shares or donations, applying for help from charitable trusts and public funding bodies, and organising loans from CICs (community interest companies) and charities. Get in touch with them if you want to help this popular pub.

A sign appeared in the window of the former Cotham Arms giving information on 'Pintsize Beerd Opening Times' followed by the question 'Want to book me?' Watch this space. The Bristol Ram on Park Street is closed, inquiries to be directed to the Ram Pun Company. Bristol Pubs Group has objected to an application on the Black Boy on Whiteladies Road that wishes to change use from A4 drinking establishment with associated residential to flexible ground floor uses of A1, A2, A3 or D1 and a sui generis house in multiple-occupation. Almost opposite, the Kings Arms has closed and is for let by Ei as a Publican Partnership. A company called Planning Developments Limited submitted an application for the 'proposed demolition of the former Giant Goram public house and the development of seven dwellings with associated private amenity space and parking.' But the application has been refused by Bristol City Council because, in part, it fails to respect the historic and social value of the building and would harm the character and local distinctiveness of the area, as well as lacking evidence that the public house is no longer economically viable and that there is no longer a need to retain the community use. Bristol Pubs Group talked with the local community and strongly objected to the plans for the loss of Lawrence Weston's last community pub. A more friendly application has been granted for the Lamplighters in Shirehampton to have six timber customer hospitality shelters in the beer garden. This was a pub that was declared at the end of its life ten years ago but is now a thriving destination and community pub since intense local pressures forced its reopening, demonstrating that the right business model and trading conditions brings success.

Work has started on conversion of the former Crown Inn at Hambrook into two dwellings. Expect to see a new Travelodge hotel with a Chef & Brewer pub within to appear any time soon on the green field remnant of Wick Wick Farm opposite the Willy Wicket pub at Downend. A free of tie lease is advertised by Fleurets on the closed Live and Let Live in Frampton Cotterell. The pub is owned by Wellington Pub Company and could be, as it has been before, a very attractive community local.

In Staple Hill, the Portcullis has had a freshen up with a brightly illuminated interior, but no real ale is offered. The Old Flowerpot Inn on Kingswood's High Street remains closed but interest in getting it re-opened is gathering momentum within the Kingswood community and within Bristol Pubs Group. The Shant on Crown Road, however, has now been demolished to make way for housing. Where the Carpenter's Arms stands at Wick the owner wants to create a smaller pub under the micro-pub moniker. The planning application declares intent to create a small pub on the same site alongside a new housing development. This application is fuelling a feeling that the small pub may not prove viable leaving no option for change by expansion or improved space utilisation.

We have been contacted from a local of the Tern Inn at Chipping Sodbury who says "The update at the moment is a bit that there is no news. The owner of the pub has removed it from the market, and isn't showing any signs of either remarketing for sale or reopening." A listed building application has been made to remove the dovecote and weather vane from the roof of the Fox at Easter Compton due to its poor condition. Down on the bank of the River Severn we've been told by an Aust villager and CAMRA member that following changes in ownership of the lease the Boar's Head is now to let. Locals are very keen to see their community pub continue as the hub of their village.

Star Pubs and Bars are commendably investing in another pub. This time around £585k in the Charlton at Keynsham, good news indeed for this popular estate pub and by the time you read this it should be open following a three-month refurbishment. Also enjoying an extensive refurbishment is the Brassmill at the confluence of the Rivers Avon and Chew. Diners are well catered for and drinkers are welcomed with a selection of ale from four hand pumps. Opposite Keynsham Rugby Club the Crown Inn rightly gained good press for offering meals to children of struggling families, and free homemade soup and showers to homeless people over the Christmas period. The George & Dragon at Pensford closed in 2019 but we are told it will reopen early 2020 as a free house.

The Warwick Arms at Clutton closed and is for sale, and a proposal has come to light for demolition of the Bungalow Inn at Redhill. The latest at the Lord Nelson at Cleeve is that an appeal against North Somerset Council's decision to refuse planning permission has been lodged by the developer. However, the Friends Nelson Group are strongly opposed to Tout Ltd's intent to convert the Lord Nelson into a multi-use site which would see the demolition of this local landmark that since 1935 has retained its entire frontage unaltered along with the original skittle alley and function room. Local campaigners claim the pub is a well-built, distinctive entity in Cleeve and is ripe for sympathetic conversion to include a village pub business and other community interests such as a shop. The Bristol Pubs Group are fully supportive of that view.

A planning application has been submitted to Sedgemoor District Council on the Crown Inn at Axbridge which proposes alterations, including a single-storey extension, to facilitate a change of use into a dwelling. The skittle alley would be demolished to increase the size of the rear garden. Another Crown in the news is the exquisitely traditional cash-only Crown Inn at Churchill which is said to be offered for sale at £950k. This rustic gem offers up to seven cask ales as well as lunchtime food to walkers and traditional pub lovers from its location at the foot of the Mendip Hills. The New Market in Weston-super-Mare has changed to Queso Wine Bar.

Don't forget to check before you travel. You can also send in updates on which is an enormous help particularly if you are the licensee or a regular user with first-hand information. And remember to use your pub through the spring months so that it's there for you to enjoy year-round.

If you want to join a Bristol Pubs Group meeting, or join the 'Group then check the branch diary at the back of this issue. Contact us first if you have an item you want to bring to our attention so that it can be considered for the agenda.

Oh, and a closing message from Bristol Pubs Group: do you feel your local pub may come under threat? (All readers of this column should consider the possibility) Bristol will be having full local elections in May. Candidates for these will want to satisfy you. Consider asking if they are prepared to support you and your friends if you campaign to save your local. Listen out for that knock on the door and have your questions at hand, or e-mail/write to them in advance before they decide what they will commit to.

Mike Jackson, for the Bristol Pubs Group

Pub News - November 2019

When the festivities are over it might seem like a good idea to dry-out in January. But what about your local pub? You don't have to avoid the pub for 31 long dark days. Pubs do offer low or non-alcohol drinks, their kitchens are open, quiz nights are on, sport is still showing on their televisions, and given these reasons alone, your friends and family can still be there. So make a point of meeting up in a pub in January, we can ill-afford to see yet more pub businesses suffer reduced sales at this crucial time. By making responsible choices, going to the pub is good for you, and for the people that need your interaction and conversation.

A new Bocabar opened at Finzels Reach on 28th November with four handpumps on the bar, adding another forward-looking enterprise to this dynamic site. Also at Finzels Reach (Left Handed Giant) LHG Brewpub is now serving two cask ales. In St. Judes, the Swan With Two Necks is being run by Jamie Ashley who is also still the licensee of the Hillgrove Porter Stores. It offers up to five ales on cask, plus a number of craft keg. All of the beers are mainly from local breweries (Moor, Good Chemistry, Arbor, Bristol Beer Factory) and there were two from Tapstone on cask during a recent visit. The long-standing staple, gravity-fed Draught Bass, however, has now gone. At the Criterion in St. Pauls a planning application that wanted part demolition of the pub with retention of the facade plus construction of a four-storey building to provide seven flats with retail unit has been refused by Bristol City planners on various reasons not least that the loss of the existing public house would create a shortfall in the provision and quality of such uses within the locality, and that insufficient evidence has been provided to demonstrate that the pub is no longer economically viable. On Easton's St. Marks Road the Sugar Loaf is currently going strong with Martin Donlin at the helm but his wishes to take on a new lease has been a slow process due to no fault of his making. If you're able to support the pub under Martin's stewardship then do so, it's a pleasant community experience.

The Colosseum on Redcliffe Hill has had a real ale on the bar, hopefully this will stay as a permanent feature so make sure you go in and ask for cask. The Bell on Prewitt Street has a planning application pending to demolish it and the adjacent auction rooms to prepare the site for 32 residential apartments. Over the river, the Little Grosvenor has reopened after a few months closed.

In Montpelier the landlady of the Beaufort has put out a stark warning that we should 'use it or lose it'. She is suffering from reduced custom but this fine traditional pub with its immaculate interior and friendly custom is the sort of pub that is a community gem. At least take a look and hopefully, you will see its benefit. In Bishopston the Urban Standard on Gloucester Road has been converted into a fish restaurant and bar, and on the same road in Horfield, JD Wetherspoon is persisting with plans to convert a former supermarket into a superpub amid plenty of local opposition. On Ashley Down Road the Foresters Arms re-opened in October while the closed Golden Bottle in Lockleaze has a planning application for demolition in favour of erecting housing on the site.

Word from the Colston Estate Community Association in Stapleton is that local MP Kerry McCarthy uncovered that the owner of the Merchants Arms had been given incorrect advice by the Planning Enforcement Team, namely that the premises could be changed from Public House to Restaurant without planning consent under permitted development rights. This is, of course, no longer the case - since May 2017 any change from A4 (public house) requires full planning consent, so the now extensively refurbished premises cannot re-open as anything other than a pub unless consent is given, to which the community group, and many others, will strongly object. This will be a major setback for the developer who has previously stated his belief that there is no place for drinking establishments in residential areas.

We reported last time that a buyer had been found for JD Wetherspoon's St. Georges Hall in Redfield however it turned out that the expected sale did not complete. Instead we now understand Wetherspoon is planning on keeping the pub! Just along the road at 190 Church Road building work has started at the former bank to add an extra floor as part of the project to create a licensed premises. Meanwhile planning permission has been granted to convert the Three Crowns on Blackswarth Road into residential properties while retaining the historic bar fittings as a feature in the foyer of the new development. The madness is that the bar fittings are part of the main reason why this pub features in CAMRA's Real Heritage Pubs of the South-West guide but in this decision, they will be shrouded out of sight inside a space without public access. This is a sad outcome for all pub-goers and historians but particularly for Save the Three Crowns community group who fought firm and fair by consistently making strong cases for retention of this Asset of Community Value listed pub. In Barton Hill's Morley Street the Swan is rumoured to be targeted for conversion into a non-pub community facility following a local consultation. If it happened this would be the end of yet another community pub in this inner-city suburb.

In Bedminster the White Hart re-opened in October under the Cask Union banner, and the Leveret (formerly Hare and Full Moon) has been changed into a wine bar and deli called Kask. Media site Big 7 Travel voted two Bedminster pubs in their UK top 50 for the best Sunday roasts - the overall winner was the Victoria Park in Raymend Road with the Spotted Cow in North Street also appearing on the chart. The owner of the Windmill has expressed a wish to sell but locals are still hopeful that a buyer can turn the fortunes around for this popular pub. The Bristol Post reported of Greene King's disposal of the Cross Hands in Bedminster Down and the fear is that the new owner may not be planning to re-open it as a community pub. It is currently closed with work clearly going on behind fencing. In Bishopsworth the Elm Tree has re-opened under the new name of Tythings as a community/family-friendly pub with high aspirations to offer a wholesome pub experience.

The Scotchman & His Pack on St. Michael's Hill remains closed following several years in the same state. Questions have been asked about the building being used as residential which is not in its use classification. We would dearly like to see the place sorted and re-opened as a part of the city centre-to-Kingsdown pub scene. The Cotham Arms, also on St. Michael's Hill, briefly re-opened in September but then promptly closed in October behind a display of signs informing of a 'Beerd pintsize pub and function room coming soon'. A planning application seeks to convert the Adam and Eve in Hotwells into four flats where a local campaign has emerged to combat this loss and hoping the developer may be amenable to retaining a pub and flats on the same site. The Hare on the Hill continues trading despite being for sale; we look forward to a new owner maintaining this great asset that the people running this pub and its customers have created over the years. The Blackboy Inn on Whiteladies Road has an application hanging over it to change use from A4 drinking establishment with associated residential to flexible ground floor uses of A1, A2, A3 or D1 and a sui generis house in multiple-occupation with associated partial demolition, internal and external alterations, refuse and cycle storage. In Clifton proper, the Somerset House closed early September when the leaseholder moved on, but owner Star Pubs & Bars say they are looking for a new operator to re-open it if it hasn't done so already. Nearby on Queens Road the Clifton Wine Bar also closed in September and is for sale.

The sale of the Giant Goram, the last pub in Lawrence Weston and another pub in CAMRA's Real Heritage Pubs of the South-West guide, sees it now closed with rumours of it being demolished so the site can become a residential development. The campaign to save it had a lot of coverage in the media when Chairman of Bristol Pubs Group Peter Bridle, as well as local pub users, gave convincing interviews with Radio Bristol and Western Daily Press among others on the reasons to keep this important community facility. We await the next news on this Asset of Community Value lister.

Cheswick Village has a new bar, Bessell Scotts Barber Lounge, which provides 'cuts for men and women' before becoming a wine bar in the evening. In Frampton Cotterell the Live and Let Live has closed following the departure of the landlady who has taken on the Victoria in Westbury on Trym. However, a free of tie lease on the Live and Let Live is being marketed by Fleurets, while the pub is owned by Wellington Pub Company. Following several years as a service space for the adjacent Tudor Raj restaurant, experienced publican Sam Jackson and partner Tracy Player have opened the Grapes on Rounceval Street in Chipping Sodbury. Trade has been very good since opening in September, featuring a Tuesday quiz night with plans to increase the food offerings. At the moment the benefit of the adjacent restaurant kitchen and menu can bolster the options. There are four ales, two permanent good-sellers from Sharp's and two changing guests, as well as keg lagers and ciders, and there was upwards of 20 gins on the bar back on a recent visit to this friendly community pub, which also welcomes your dog. Also in 'Sodbury the Tern Inn saga stays at stalemate with the pub doors firmly shut and no apparent activity.

Where the north-east of our branch area extends into the Cotswolds, the Cross House at Doynton re-opened in September after a couple of years closed. It had looked like it would be another lost pub statistic but following an extensive refurbishment by its new owner and the addition of an impressive new restaurant, this pub has certainly made its mark right from the start. Locals rub shoulders with destination diners in a relaxed atmosphere where the staff are welcoming and well humoured. The three cask ales on the bar come from the likes of Butcombe, Bristol Beer Factory and Bass plus others. There is also garden seating and a well-finished car park. This investment in this village pub can expect to take it forward to a bright future. In Kingswood, the Old Flowerpot remains closed and on along the A420 the Wick Micro-pub idea is pending a planning application to incorporate a smaller pub on the site of the Carpenters Arms, along with a new residential development.

The Rising Sun at Pensford has been acquired by St. Austell Brewery, while in the North Somerset town of Portishead, Portishead Brewing has opened a new craft bar called Port, with 12 keg taps, in an old fish and chip shop on The Precinct. The Nailsea MicroPub was opened in September by owner Mark Ashman, serving up to eight cask ales plus real cider and bar snacks. As usual with micro-pubs, check opening times when planning your journey. Elsewhere in the town the White Lion has closed, hopefully temporarily so it could be open by the time you read this. The Butchers Arms in Banwell has had £100k spent on a full internal and external re-decoration, new signage and lighting, and new furnishings which claims to offer a more modern feel whilst maintaining all of the pub's existing tradition and charm.

At Cleeve, an appeal against North Somerset Council's decision to refuse planning permission has been lodged by the developer. However, the Friends Nelson Group are strongly opposed to Tout Ltd's intent to convert the Lord Nelson into a multi-use site which would see the demolition of this local landmark that since 1935 has retained its entire frontage unaltered along with the original skittle alley and function room. Local campaigners claim the pub is a well-built, distinctive entity in Cleeve and is ripe for sympathetic conversion to include a village pub business and other community interests such as a shop. The Bristol Pubs Group are fully supportive of that view.

Two pubs have come on the market in Cheddar. The Galleries has its freehold for sale at £375,000 and the Gardeners Arms is offered at £340,000. In Weston-super-Mare Epic Beers (Pitchfork Ales) has opened its first pub venture Fork & Ale Taphouse and Kitchen in the former Bonds Wine Bar / Bristol & Exeter on Walliscote Road. This modern pub within an attractive traditional structure has up to six cask ales and food presented as 'small plates' with plans to offer a larger food menu and coffee during extended opening hours.

National brewer and pub owner Marston's sold 137 of its pubs in the Autumn to Admiral Taverns and the Boar's Head at Aust was reportedly one of the pubs included in the sale.

Don't forget to check before you travel, and remember to use your pub through these winter months so that it's there for you to enjoy year-round.

If you want to join a Bristol Pubs Group meeting, or join the 'Group then check the branch diary at the back of this issue. Contact us first if you have an item you want to bring to our attention so that it can be considered for the agenda.

Happy pubbin'

Mike Jackson, for the Bristol Pubs Group

Pub News - August 2019

Before I start on the pub news here's an invitation to you all. The Bristol Pubs Group is looking to recruit members. You don't have to be a CAMRA member, you don't have to drink real ale: All you need to have is a passion for pubs, particularly the community pub that brings us all together. The group promotes the use of pubs and their place in the community, we campaign against the closure of pubs that could be viable, and we campaign against insensitive alterations. We also enjoy social time together - in pubs! If this is for you then contact us on the email address above.

In this column in the last issue of Pints West, we reported that the Sugar Loaf in St. Marks Road in Easton was under the ownership of Zazu's Kitchen but this was not correct. Martin Donlin at the Sugar Loaf contacted us to say that he is, in fact, leasing the pub and owns the business, and hopes to secure a longer lease on it from now on. Martin invited me to the 'Loaf to get an update of what is going on. A short train journey dropped me next door at Stapleton Road station where I found a friendly pub with a strong focus on the community. Martin has been there since last September and has steadily made improvements encouraging local trades-persons to carry out the work. There are traditional pub games, local artwork mounted on the walls, and the garden has been tidied to let more light in while retaining its privacy. The garden has allocation for the community to grow herbs and vegetables for sharing amongst the pub users. Inside the pub table football, two pool tables and two dart boards keep sports fans active, while the Sky package on three screens satisfies more sedentary sports observers. There is also live and DJ music at this all-welcoming community hub. Real ales offered are Timothy Taylor Landlord alongside St. Austell Tribute, Bath Gem and/or Wickwar BOB. A keg beer is also on the bar but can vary and cider is restricted to keg, with fresh rolls also available. Sunday roasts are a new offering between noon and 5pm.

Left Handed Giant opened a Brewpub at their brewery on Finzels Reach on the site of 250 years of brewing heritage by George's and latterly Courage. In Bristol's centre, the Shakespeare Tavern on Prince Street has an ambitious new manager who is presenting a range of local ales alongside those from parent company Greene King. Rab Clarke left the Eldon House at the end of August, the pub is now being run by Matt and Mike Wilkins of the Merchants Arms in Hotwells, though Mike will continue to run the Merchants'. Also in Hotwells the Rose of Denmark closed its doors on 27th July but has since re-opened.

We have received notice from the owner of the Bass-offering Swan with Two Necks in St. Judes that this popular pub is for sale. On Montpelier's Brook Road the Star & Garter opened in July under new ownership. According to this community pub re-opened following a stylish refurbishment championing the social history of the St Paul's area which includes a shrine to the infamous Bamboo Reggae Club, and social memorabilia including DJ Derek's waistcoat and music case. You can even listen to some of the DJ legend's music on the 1940s jukebox. The new bar's design includes built-in speakers as the pub hosts reggae and dub nights on Fridays and Saturdays. Three changing guest ales, usually from Dawkins and Bath Ales are on sale.

Fleurets are offering the freehold of the ever-popular community real ale pub, the Hare on the Hill in Kingsdown for £395k. Historically the Mason's Arms, this pub has served the Kingsdown community faithfully for many years, gaining new recognition under Bath Ales some years back. The White Bear on St. Michaels Hill has its lease offered by pub company ei (formerly Enterprise Inns), and just along the road, the Cotham Arms has closed while ei advertise the lease. According to reports the closed Black Boy on Whiteladies Road in Redland has sold but to whom and for what purpose we don't yet know. Not a pub but of interest to beer drinkers, Brendan's Brewtique beer shop on Clifton's Queen's Road closed its doors in July.

Reported to us is the news that JD Wetherspoon has sold St. Georges Hall in Redfield. The Three Crowns on Blackswarth Road in St. George has an application pending for total conversion to residential use. In response, CAMRA put out a press release in July asking for consideration to retain a community pub on this sizable site. We were contacted recently by someone who has plans for the re-opening of the new look Redfield on Church Road. This pub has been closed for several years and looked set to be lost to conversion at one time but we now look forward to a re-birth.

The Merchants Arms in Stapleton continues closed and is in something of a stalemate, with the owner not appearing intent on re-opening the Asset of Community Value (ACV) as a pub.

Fire affected a couple of closed pubs in the middle of the summer, the building that contained the Gainsborough on the square in Lockleaze burned out one night while the Bell in Redcliffe suffered a similar fate within days.

On Bedminster Parade the White Hart has closed but the Little Grosvenor on Coronation Road has been redecorated, hopefully in preparation for a re-opening. Lost & Grounded has opened their Taproom at their brewery in Whitby Road in St. Anne's, opening on Friday and Saturday only. Historic pub, the Kings Arms in Brislington has its lease offered by owner ei, and nearby the Good Intent, which is closed, is also for lease by ei. The Elm Tree in Bishopsworth could re-open as a family-friendly community pub with a competitive food offering if Star Bars' proposals for a £478k refurbishment come to fruition for this ACV; similarly but in a slightly more advanced state, the Whitchurch re-opened on Oatlands Avenue in July after a refurbishment that sees it become a Greene King Flaming Grill.

Following the withdrawal of a planning application earlier this year at the Red Lion at Staple Hill, the applicant, Premium Abodes, has now been refused by South Gloucestershire planners a revised application to demolish existing extensions and ancillary buildings, with alterations to the public house, in order to build new housing, while retaining a public house on the site.

At Wick, a proposal to create a smaller trading area as a public house is being debated. When the Carpenters Arms closed last year the forecast was that it would be lost to a housing development, but it is claimed by Chewton Keynsham Ltd that The Micro-pub Wick proposal could be its saviour. The developer says, "the proposal is to convert the Carpenters Arms to create an economically viable public house, and to form a separate dwelling in the remainder of the building. This will enable much-needed refurbishment of the whole building. In addition, it is intended to construct three detached dwellings on land at the side of the building which fronts onto High Street." Bristol Pubs Group has reservations as such a small trading space has many limitations to adapt to changing future customer demands. What is expected to be a much-improved Cross House at Doynton is set to re-open any time now, and in Bridgeyate the White Harte re-opened in July following a refurbishment during a five-month closure.

At the Tern Inn at Chipping Sodbury the developer is still not indicating when the pub may be returned to its community. Out of our branch area but within South Gloucestershire, the Crown in Marshfield is undergoing conversion into residential.

The threat to the Lord Nelson at Cleeve continues although there has been no new news of late, with the pub apparently not earmarked for any sort of re-opening at present. It was reported in the North Somerset Times recently that a planning application has been submitted for a change of use of a premises in Nailsea, to become a micro-pub. The Warwick Arms at Clutton is for sale, the Galleries Inn at Cheddar is open, and the Bristol House in Weston-super-Mare re-opened in June.

On 1st August CAMRA's new guide, Real Heritage Pubs of the South West, was launched at one of the guide's star pubs, the Kings Head in Victoria Street. The guide contains 109 heritage pubs and is a treasure trove of pub styles from old world village watering holes to Victorian city stalwarts to un-touched 1960s gems. The book is available from CAMRA Books.

Mike Jackson, for the Bristol Pubs Group

Pub News - May 2019

Well publicised in April was the withdrawal of Brewer's Fayre from the Llandoger Trow on King Street. The Whitbread company said that the site does not fit with their business model so they are not continuing their leasehold. This old building is an iconic Bristol pub, its long lease is being advertised by Christie & Co for £1m. The Grade II listed Pineapple, behind the City Hall, is set to become residential after approval of a planning application for its conversion into flats. Another historic city pub, the Butcombe owned Ostrich on Redcliffe Wharfside (check out the signage on the building's magnificent facade) closed for refurbishment in March but soon re-opened as a smart dining and casual drinking pub with the benefit of plenty of outside seating, the choice of seats even extends to stripy deck chairs if you so wish. We are reminded of its dock-side heritage by the extensive rum menu. On the beer front, Butcombe ales are, of course, offered.

Although it has been closed for 12 months, the Palace in Old Market is 150 years old this year. The spectacular Victorian interior behind the distinctly detailed edifice lends itself to being opened as an elaborate bar in this most interestingly diverse part of the city. Just along West Street from the Palace the Eagle Tavern is no more. This long closed pub has been converted into a Middle Eastern restaurant.

In St. Pauls the Criterion has re-opened. On the border with Montpelier we expect the Star & Garter to re-open at any time following an update and new exterior paint job. The Sugar Loaf on St.Mark's Road in Easton is not being leased by Zazu's Kitchen Pubs as previously reported, but by Martin Donlin who is independent from that pub chain. The Three Blackbirds on Stapleton Road is offered for sale by agent Stuart Hogg.

The freehold of the Lord Nelson on Aiken Street in Barton Hill is advertised with agent Fleurets. A bust of Lord Nelson once sat proudly on the corner of the building but is now a somewhat vulnerable and lonely figure since the pub's closure and subsequent decline. Barton Hill and neighbouring St. Philips had once been Bristol's hub of industry and the people that toiled therein were the providers of business to many pubs. But now we can only reflect upon the passing of the Royal Table, Forgeman's Arms, Russell Arms, Bunch of Grapes, Old Fox Inn and Coopers Arms which have all closed within half mile of Barton Hill. On the bright side, remainers are the Swan on Morley Street and the Rhubarb Tavern on Queen Anne Road in Barton Hill, and the Packhorse on Lawrence Hill, along with a good density of brewery taps.

The Bell in Redcliffe once again has a planning application for demolition and the loss of its site to housing. The likeable Velindra on Commercial Road closed some months ago but workers have been spotted doing something inside, fingers crossed for a welcome re-opening. But over the river, the Little Grosvenor closed recently, but temporarily, we hope. The Star & Dove on Totterdown's St. Lukes Road has re-opened following a prolonged closure and just up the hill, the New Found Out has introduced three changing guest ales. Following an apparent falling through of the sale of the Princess of Wales in Bedminster, it is now offered for sale again. On Windmill Hill, the Rising Sun is now run by the same good people behind the Steam Crane and the Golden Guinea. Its refurbishment sees it presenting up to three guest ales. St. Annes' only pub, the splendidly pillared and gable-fronted Langton Court closed in March for a two month refurbishment. Opening on May 10th owner Star (Heineken UK) have done a thorough job of refurbishing the interior to a smart modern standard, maintaining the darts, pool and skittles facilities and offering meals at lunch and evenings. Up to six ales and two real ciders are available which can be consumed in the refurbished garden. The ornate exterior frontage is as eye catching as ever.

JD Wetherspoon is marketing 16 pubs for sale nationally and St. George's Hall in Redfield is one of them. 'Spoons have said that the pub will remain open until a buyer is found. Meanwhile the same company is still forecasting the opening of a brand new super-pub on Gloucester Road in Horfield but permission does not seem to have been given so far.

A planning application has been submitted to convert a much loved Asset of Community Value, the Three Crowns in St. George, into housing. On the border of Stapleton and Eastville, the Merchants Arms has had a skip outside with disposed air conditioning or ventilation fittings being loaded to it. Again, we await the owner - who has declared a hand to a housing conversion before - to make the next move. Still in Stapleton, the Old Tavern on Blackberry Hill has closed, and in Fishponds the imposing Portcullis is open but for lease with Star (Heineken UK). EI is reported to have a desire to re-open the Foresters Arms on Ashley Down Road in Horfield.

The long closed Adam & Eve in Hotwells has an application pending for the extension and conversion of the former public house to create four self-contained flats with associated refuse storage and cycle parking. On Whiteladies Road the Black Boy Inn has its freehold on the market for £495k. Another freehold available is that of the Giant Goram in Lawrence Weston. It is for sale with property agent Fleurets where offers are invited for this registered Asset of Community Value.

In South Gloucestershire, on Staple Hill's High Street the Portcullis and Old Mail House both have their leases available with Hawthorne Leisure and Star (Heineken UK) respectively, but are open as normal. In Kingswood an exciting new micro-pub called the Lyons Den has been created in an old charity retail unit on Regent Street. With its focus strongly on the micro-pub model, its un-cluttered space facilitates open conversation with the only distraction being an electronic display of the cask and keg beers as well as the real ciders that are offered. A report in an April edition of the Bristol Post said the freehold of the independently owned Langley Arms in Emersons Green is offered at an asking price of £1.5m by Christie & Co. The pub continues open and trading in the meantime. News came our way that the Carpenter's Arms at Wick is to be opened on a smaller scale, as a micro-pub. The Cross House Inn at Doynton is scheduled for re-opening in the summer with a new kitchen and restaurant as well as a fresh look throughout. The intention is that it will be a real village pub offering good food. Outside of our branch but still in South Gloucestershire, the Plough at Charfield has re-opened following a lengthy closure. The downsized internal space is being described as a micro-pub and is serving up to four cask ales in a single room.

Still closed in South Glos are the Old Flowerpot at Kingswood, the Crown at Hambrook, the Cross Keys at Yate, and the Tern Inn at Chipping Sodbury which has been under threat of demolition but has so far survived thanks to the strong and loyal support of its community which are proving the worth of this Asset of Community Value.

Tucked away from the main drag through Pensford, the fine Georgian former coaching inn, the George & Dragon, has its freehold for sale at £325k with Fleurets. Another George & Dragon, this one at Felton, has opened its bar after several years dormant, apart from a new on-site tea rooms that emerged last year. This large pub with letting rooms and restaurant could prosper with it sitting so close to Bristol International Airport.

The Lord Nelson at Cleeve remains closed but owner Mr. Tout's latest planning application for re-development of the site has been refused. 17 months of campaigning by the Cleeve local group has led to North Somerset Council's refusal on many reasons including:- the proposed demolition of the local heritage asset does not take into account the building's local heritage value of 1930's roadside public houses in the area and the evidence of both archival and historical association value. Also, the overbearing impact from the new building and excessive noise and light and pollution from the operation of the fuel filling station. And the proposed development will have an adverse impact on Greater Horseshoe Bat and Badger populations. Well done to North Somerset Council and the relentless campaigners at Cleeve!

The Cat and Badger micro-pub has opened in Weston-super-Mare at 3 Boulevard. It trades from Thursday to Sunday, offering four gravity fed ales and three real ciders. Not such good news in Weston's High Street is that two similarly named neighbouring pubs have closed, London Inn and London Oak shut up shop in April. We have been told by a Taunton CAMRA member that his visit to the White Hart at Cross found it re-opened with a good clean up and offering two real ales, Trelawny and Gem, but the landlord would like to present up to two more as demand dictates.

The Bristol Pubs Group congratulate our Branch winners of Pub of the Year. First place was awarded to the Barley Mow in The Dings, St. Philips and runner up was the Drapers Arms in Horfield. Congratulations also go to one of our members, Mark Steeds, for he and his family are celebrating 25 years at the Beaufort Arms at Hawkesbury Upton this summer.

As usual, check before you travel, especially for new and micro-pubs which can have short licensing hours. Most of all, enjoy your summer pubbing!

Mike Jackson, for the Bristol Pubs Group

Pub News - March 2019

Aren't pubs brilliant! You might have thought otherwise during Dry January. Those of us that did bother to go to the pub were sometimes rattling around amongst empty spaces which would normally have been filled with friendly faces, banter and good cheer. For the customers it was a quiet time but what about the sustainability of the pubs at this time when they really could benefit from a good start to the year? Be careful to avoid going dry during next January, if you do then don't assume that the local pub will be open and waiting for you on February 1st because it might be too late for some of them. Anyway, climbing off of my soapbox, here is the news.

In January it was reported that pub company Ei Group agreed the sale of 370 properties (not all pubs) to Tavern Propco for £348m, how many of these properties are pubs and which ones in our branch area is not certain at present. Fullers, yes FULLERS of Chiswick, that most exemplary British brewing institution has sold the crown jewels! Their Fullers brewing business and brands has been sold to Asahi of Tokyo in order to concentrate on their pubs and hotels. Fullers pubs number seven in our Bristol & District and Bath & Borders branches and we expect them to continue at strength.

Zerodegrees on Colston Street / Perry Road has informed us that their core beer range has been updated. Nothing too drastic, expect updates of their Pale Ale, Black Lager, Wheat Beer and Pilsner.

There is a revised planning application on the Grade II listed Pineapple in St. George's Road, behind City Hall, to change the use of the building to five flats, with the demolition and rebuilding of an existing side extension. Bristol Pubs Group are doing all they can to prevent this from happening. It was nice to hear from Steph and Sam, new leaseholders of the Orchard Inn in Hanover Place (Spike Island). They tell us they are now offering six gravity fed cask ales, mostly from local breweries, and 20 real ciders (although Cheddar Valley and Black Rat on now keg only). There are no hot meals, but hot pasties are available along with cold scotch eggs and pork pies. Be sure to visit this multi award-winning community pub. We have been told by Chris at To The Moon in Midland Road, Old Market, that keg beer from Moor, New Bristol and Dawkins is now available.

A new couple are now running the Hare on the Hill in Kingsdown on an initial short, three-month, arrangement. They, and we, hope this will become a long-term venture. Crying Wolf cocktail bar has opened on Cotham Hill, arranged on two levels with table service, it is the second opening for Wild West Group who source local and South-West regional produce. The prominent White Bear on St. Michael's Hill closed in January but promptly reopened under a different management team. Only Butcombe Original will be offered until demand for a wider range of ales is apparent, but here's wishing the best for this interesting public house which houses a performance space upstairs, as well as outdoor seating in the courtyard that is left over from its days as a coaching inn. We are told the Blackboy on Whiteladies Road closed at the end of January, but what next for it we don't know.

The Bristol Post reported that Malcolm Haynes who is part of the decision making team at Glastonbury Festival, as well as overseeing last year's St. Pauls Carnival, has been asked to run the Star and Garter in Montpelier. The pub should re-open with a similar vibe to that which it has become known for, in the Spring following a bit of TLC. Malcolm apologises to all those who wanted it turned into flats. Our sort of guy!

The Sugar Loaf on Easton's St. Mark's Road is under refurbishment to re-open under the stewardship of Zazu's Kitchen who successfully run several Bristol pubs including Grace, The Westbury Park, Knowle Hotel and The Greenbank. The Asset of Community Value (ACV) designation on the Merchant's Arms in Eastville was upheld following a challenge by the new owners. The planning application to convert to housing was withdrawn after 111 objections were submitted. The owner's next step is awaited but not known at this stage. Matt at the Lazy Dog in Ashley Down Road gave us a stack of updates to his pub which are best viewed on but in summary involve stand-up comedy, a film club, darts and quiz nights. The regular beers are from Purity and Bristol Beer Factory.

The roof of the Bell in Redcliffe has sadly fallen in. This pub has been closed for a good ten years and has been completely neglected with damp, looters and squatters all present at some time or another. Now it is difficult to see what could be done if it was desired to be used for anything at all, pub or otherwise. In Bedminster the Princess of Wales' freehold is back on the market after its recent sale apparently fell through. The freehold of the Windmill at Bedminster is for sale with Fleurets in excess of half a million pounds but the pub is open as usual. Nearby, the Rising Sun in Alfred Road is under new management having enjoyed an extensive makeover.

The Lamplighters at Shirehampton has been serving the public since 1760, but within the last decade it stood sad and idle for a few years, apparently unloved and looking like becoming another housing development. But a determined campaign by local people supported by the MP and CAMRA's Bristol Pubs Group saw the pub building beautifully restored to reopen as a very popular pub on the north bank of the River Avon. The Lamplighters has attracted a lot of attention, not least from St. Austell Brewery who purchased the pub at the start of the year, but it will be branded as a Bath Ales pub, who are owned by St. Austell.

In South Gloucestershire, the applicant has withdrawn the planning application to add housing to the site of the Red Lion in Staple Hill while retaining a slightly altered pub. The Red Lion remains open as normal and still serving Wadworth ales. Check out the wood panelled snug when you're next in. The Old Flowerpot in Kingswood remains closed. A couple of temporary openings and departures have dogged this pub since Brains released it, so it would be reassuring for local drinkers if a stable arrangement could be made to secure its future as a proper community pub as it sits in a pub vacuum where the nearest pub trading is just shy of half a mile away. Local paper The Week In reported mid-February that a planning application has been submitted to South Gloucestershire Council for a micro-pub in an empty retail unit at 121 Regent Street, Kingswood as part of a scheme to regenerate the high street.

Rumour has it that the new owner of the White Harte at Bridgeyate, which is currently closed for a three-month refurbishment, has extensive plans for updates to the pub's interior. There are some nice bar room fittings in that pub and it has retained old world charm that is not necessarily out of date. It is important to make the balance for a pub's relevance to modern times while protecting its strengths of traditional appeal. The Carpenter's Arms at Wick, which closed nearly a year ago, could be bought from its owner by Wick Community Pub Ltd set up by via the Plunkett Foundation. This would be a remarkable outcome for this community hub as it had been acquired by a developer with an interest in creating new housing across the site with the pub building becoming further housing, so we have to say that we are encouraged by this latest news. Work is underway at Doynton where the Cross House is having a major refurbishment creating more space to capitalize on the destination dining market. Hopefully drinking space for community imbibers will feature. In Chipping Sodbury the 'Friends of The Tern' are continuing to push for their community pub to be reinstated following the developer withdrawing their appeal against the refusal of their planning application to build 28 homes on the site which would have resulted in total loss of the Tern Inn altogether. The pub has been closed for around two years.

The battle at the Lord Nelson in Cleeve is stalemate while a revised planning application is considered by North Somerset Council whether to grant permission for the pub's demolition and re-development of the site. There has been a both rigorous and vigorous campaign in Cleeve to save this important pub which is, after all, an Asset of Community Value.

The Old Mill at Portishead has reopened following a period of uncertainty. We look forward to fresh and positive trading at this well-known landmark town-centre pub. The Poacher in Portishead is under new management, this popular high street pub is set to gain accommodation in 2019. In Nailsea the lease is offered for sale on the Ring of Bells with the pub continuing to trade as normal.

Planning permission has been granted for 3 Boulevard in Weston-super-Mare to be converted into a micro-pub so we'll look forward to its opening, adding to Weston's first micro-pub, the Black Cat, which opened in November.

As usual, consult for any updates, and most of all, enjoy your pub excursions. Cheers!

Pub News - November 2018

It's a sign of the times when you can't even hand over hard-earned cash for your drink, but the Small Bar in King Street has gone cash-less, so be prepared for the 21st century next time you're in. Following a Building Preservation Notice (BPN) served by Bristol City Council, the Pineapple in St. George's Road has been listed as Grade II as "an example of a mid-C17 merchant's house in Bristol …. its use as a brew house since the C18 adds to the interest of its history." This pub had been closed and was on the market when this intervention happened so it will be interesting to see if its re-opening as a public house might be the most realistic option - something that Bristol Pubs Group has said all along. Illusions magic bar on The Triangle unexpectedly permanently closed in September but its sister pub, Smoke and Mirrors, remains open on Denmark Street.

In Old Market, Brisco is the new venture in the building on West Street formerly known as Dutch and The Retreat. It is principally a funk, soul and R&B music night spot under the same ownership as the Golden Lion on Gloucester Road. Also on West Street, the Palace has been closed on several recent visits but we have no information on what the true status might be. This fine structure with its splendid Victorian interior deserves to be enjoyed by all comers so we would urge investment into a pub-based business model for the future. Last we heard, the Velindra in Redcliffe was under the same ownership as the Palace, but sadly it is currently closed.

Venerable Bristol pub, the Sugar Loaf on St. Mark's Road in Easton, has re-opened under new ownership and we wish the new operator well in this old favourite. A planning application has been approved for changes to the Duke of Sussex in St. Pauls to facilitate change of use to residential. The Merchant's Arms in Eastville had a hearing on its ACV on 2nd November but the decision has not yet been made. The owner has applied for a conversion of the existing building from public house to five two-bed maisonettes with alterations to the existing flat to form a two-bed maisonette. The application, 18/04935/F, can be viewed on Bristol City council's planning web site.

Interesting developments at the former Redfield Inn on Church Road sees the place ready for re-opening as a pub. It closed several years ago and a planning application was granted to change the floor plan and add an extension to make space for residential. Although provision was made for a pub to be incorporated, it looked like this would never reach fruition as it was just not evident upon any observed inspection of the development. Now, however, bold signage has appeared, as The Redfield, and we look forward to a welcome re-opening. At 190 Church Road in St. George, an application has been made for erection of first and second floor extensions and refurbishment of the former bank, to provide a ground floor cafe/bar. The Three Crowns on Blackswarth Road has a new owner following two years of uncertainty since its liquidation. The community group that has been so vigorous in following this saga are pressing for retention of a public house on the site when all is said and done.

A new brewery is located at the back of the Star pub in Fishponds, called Fishponds Brewery. At the Oldbury Court Inn, the new owner is reportedly the same as that of the Ship Inn and the Crown Inn at Keynsham. They are presenting an improved offering of food and family welcoming with an emphasis on the community. The Venus Bar on Gloucester Road has re-opened as Alchemy 198.

The team behind the St Philips brewery, Good Chemistry, have opened their first pub. The Good Measure is in Redland's Chandos Road in the premises previously known as the Aviator. This new venture joins a number of successful independent food and drinks businesses, including current Branch Pub of the Year Chums, on this popular street. The Good Measure will be offering a range of cask and keg beers, plus natural wines and spirits. The Adam and Eve in Hotwells is at risk of permanent loss. It closed a couple of years ago after spending a short but successful period as a vegan pub that attracted a strong following. Its fortunes changed when expensive repairs were required to the building, and although some works were carried out, the business opportunity never recovered. Currently there is a planning application pending to convert it into five flats.

The Avon Packet on Southville's Coronation Road, has gained a place on CAMRA's Regional Inventory of Heritage Pub Interiors after Bristol Pubs Group gave it their nomination. The notice from the national Pub Heritage Group rather dryly states; "The Avon Packet has been changed to Regional Inventory. Reason: Meets the RI criteria through the retention of a number of rooms plus sufficient genuinely old fittings." We would say, on a more buoyant note, that it has a three-tiered, dog-legged interior housing old fire places in the front and back rooms. Also, in the back room is a shove ha'penny board game, all of this amid bric-a-brac and curios throughout. Externally the join between the former two buildings, which are now one, can still be seen in the pleasing ceramic tiled frontage as well as in the roof-line. The sizeable rear garden has the usual al fresco comforts such as a bear pit straddled by a viewing bridge…!

The Princess of Wales on Westbourne Grove in Bedminster is likely to have been sold by the time you read this. This fine symmetrical building behind a welcoming wrought archway has been closed for two years. We are told the Star and Dove in Totterdown has closed again, apparently in a rushed exit. The Miles Arms at Avonmouth has its freehold for sale at a whopping £900k. The current owner is Mitchells & Butlers who have run it under their Sizzling Pubs brand. Ditto the Shield and Dagger at Whitchurch whose freehold is also offered by the same seller for £900k.

In Kingswood a Government Official has overturned South Gloucestershire's refusal for ten three-bedroomed homes to be built on the site of the Shant. The application had been refused because it did not include affordable homes.

In Staple Hill, the site of the Red Lion has a planning application aligned to it for alterations to the public house, to accommodate four self-contained flats plus erection of two semi-detached dwellings, but with retention of the pub. The White Swan at Downend re-opened in October and the

Bailey's Court Inn at Bradley Stoke has enjoyed a major refurbishment.

The Cross Hands at Alveston has been demolished making way for a housing development, while the Marston's owned White Lion at Thornbury has closed again, but we're not sure what is happening here. Next door, the Butcher's Hook now has added rugs and carpets which should improve the acoustics.

In October the owner of the ACV listed Carpenter's Arms at Wick expressed an intent to sell, thus giving the Wick & Abson Parish Council or other qualifying community interest group until 26th November to submit an expression of interest to bid in order to secure the pub's future. The Crown at Hambrook has a new owner and is currently closed, but no application for change of use or otherwise has yet been seen.

It was farewell to Dave and Ally McKillop in October when they ended 16 years at the New Inn at Mayshill near Frampton Cotterell. Under their tenancy the pub was a firm favourite with CAMRA, winning the Branch Pub of The Year in 2009 and earning a regular entry into the Good Beer Guide, while supporting LocAle and BADRAG events, among others. We thank Dave and Ally and wish them well for the future. The pub continues under the direction of new landlord Mark Lodge.

We had a message from the new management team at the Boot Inn at Chipping Sodbury just to say that they are welcoming all to their improved and refreshed community pub. Meanwhile at the Tern Inn in 'Sodbury, the developer has withdrawn its appeal against South Gloucestershire's refusal of outline planning permission to demolish the public house to erect 26 dwellings and a cafe. There has been a huge opposition to the loss of this popular pub and the community is standing firm in their constant message to the developer that they want it back.

The George Inn at Abbotts Leigh was re-opened in November by the investment of local businessmen, with great help by volunteers to get it ready for the opening date. The new management will major on food but this old inn has plenty to please everybody with its smart interior and cheering beer garden, should the sun appear. The Plough at Portishead closed in August but re-opened on 15th October following a refurbishment by the No Hope Bars group, and is now stocking real ale, initially serving Brains Reverend James, Butcombe Original and Courage Best. It is being operated by John Murphy and Andy Mills. No Hope Bars also operate the Hope and Anchor at Shirehampton, the Fire Engine at Redfield and Bedminster's White Hart. The Wadworth owned Queen's Arms in Chew Magna re-opened after a year of closure.

Our man in North Somerset, Laurie Gibney, has told us the Star Inn at Tickenham reopened on 16th November with Doom Bar as the regular real ale and one changing beer, it now has a sports bar as well as a restaurant bar and six accommodation rooms. One of the two in charge is Stephen Fionda who is also involved in running the George and Dragon at Winterbourne in South Gloucestershire.

The Railway Inn at Yatton should by now have a refurbished interior which was planned to include a new kitchen, carpets, a wood burner and extra seating. Traditional pub food is planned to come from the new kitchen. The battle continues at Cleeve to save the Lord Nelson from demolition. North Somerset Council's decision on Tout's planning application has now been moved to 14th December with at least 290 objectors opposing the plan.

News from Cheddar is that the tenancy is available on the closed Gardener's Arms. Similarly the Galleries Inn on The Cliffs has its lease available and is also closed.

The Black Cat is Weston-super-Mare's first micropub! It opened on 23rd November at 135 High Street, so be sure to check it out. Furthermore, the address 3 Boulevard, might not mean much at first but it is planned to be the location of Weston's second micropub, and our Branch's seventh in only three years. Watch out for its imminent opening. The Imperial in Weston is now called Olea and is operating as a Mediterranean bar with no real ale, but the Borough Arms on Locking Road re-opened on 9th November after a major refurbishment.

Don't forget to check for the latest pub information, and be sure to make the most of your local, not just over the festive season, but all year long.

Pub News - November 2017

There's a fair bit to report on this time so get yourself a pint of ale, real cider or perry and get stuck into the latest pub happenings. The Drawbridge on the centre's St Augustine's Parade is looking a great deal smarter for its refurbishment by pubco owner John Barras and on a recent visit the parent company's Greene King ales were offered with additional empty hand pumps should the need for more ale arise. On Facebook, John Ashby of the Gryphon says;

It is with great pleasure that I announce that Jasmin and I....have taken on a second pub! We now hold the keys to the Pineapple on St George's Road (behind the City Hall). It has been vacant since Feb 2016, and we are very pleased to prevent another historical pub being turned into something other than its intended use.

The pub has huge potential, and we hope to be able to utilise that over the coming years.

The main licensed area of the pub is in relatively good condition, so we're looking at a fairly swift turnaround before we start trading. Preferably the second weekend of December.

We hope to offer the friendly, relaxed atmosphere that regulars at The Gryphon enjoy, but without the heavy metal. So for those of you that avoid coming to see me because you can't bear the music, you've no excuse now! The music will be more blues/rock/folk orientated (as well as all the guilty pleasures I wouldn't allow to be played in the Gryphon!).

The selection on the bar will be varied to cater for most tastes, with at least 4 cask ales on rotation.

There will even be a wine LIST! We are discussing our options for the introduction of food.

Unfortunately there is no beer garden, but the pub remains cool in the summer, and cosy in the winter. Jasmin is very keen to get her landlady-groove going on at The Pineapple. My duties will be shared between both venues, and my great team at The Gryphon are determined to maintain our great reputation.

Bristol Pubs Group are very excited about this fantastic news.

The Bristol Yard (formerly the Yard, Colston Yard, and Smiles Brewery Tap) on Colston Street has opened following months of closure and another predicted re-opening is that of the Scotchman & His Pack at the foot of St. Michael's Hill. This pub has been closed for years but could be open by now selling French beer and free-of-tie British real ale. On Whiteladies Road a new venture for Zazu's Kitchen is Rosa Tapas & Bar in the building that formerly housed the Town House. There is interesting local beer in bottles and cans as well as draught key keg beer from a local brewer such as Moor. At Temple the Sidings, which used to be the Reckless Engineer, opened in August selling real ale from Box Steam, Wadworth and Sharp's among others as well as the full range of drinks, including coffee, in a transformed clean and modern surrounding that also offers pizza and wraps.

In nearby Cattle Market Road the Cattle Market Tavern continues to demand recognition for its architectural importance, particularly in this development area where attractive design of the built environment has come into question. Bristol Pubs Group firmly believes that the building offers credible architectural design that would complement the new builds, and create a high profile attractive licensed premises. In Redcliffe The Nook is no more and the Velindra name has returned to this long-standing Bristol pub. The growth of Butcombe's pub estate sees it take on the managed waterside house, the Ostrich Inn.

The Armoury Tavern on Stapleton Road in Easton is to let and the Merchant's Arms at Stapleton remains closed with signage removed. This is a densely populated area but the nearest pubs are the Mason's Arms and the Queen's Head, both an appreciable distance away. Fortunately a community group are fighting hard to save their pub and have achieved an Asset of Community Value (ACV) listing for it. Bristol Pubs Group are fully supporting the campaign which has featured in the Bristol Post and on Radio Bristol as well as in various online media.

A planning application to convert into homes hangs over the closed Russell Arms in Morton Street, Lawrence Hill and in nearby Barton Hill the Lord Nelson is still closed and boarded up. The future of the Three Crowns in St. George remains uncertain. Its interests are in the hands of a liquidator who has required the premises to be vacated while its sale is arranged, and so the pub is currently closed. On a positive note the pub has been awarded ACV listing and it is extremely well supported by a band of enthusiastic well organised followers which have used the pub for a wide range of social, charitable and sporting uses. The Railway Tavern in Fishponds has a new leaseholder and reports are that they guys running it are in the business of being the owners of a well ran pub. At Kingswood an 'All Enquiries' sign was on the Chequers in Lodge Road but it has now been removed. This pub has been closed for some years and is another one where the community achieved an ACV listing proving that there are customers that are supporting a re-opening.

The Prince of Wales on Gloucester Road is under threat in its current form as EI (formerly Enterprise Inns) wants to transfer it to management under its Bermondsey Pub Company brand. This could lose the pub its credentials as an independent trader supporting other local independent suppliers and there could also be a risk to the well-presented traditional interior (not to mention the street-art clad exterior). There is a well-supported crowd funding campaign to fund the legal cost that will ensue. In Westbury-on-Trym the White Horse closed and re-opened in a short space of time this autumn, from a dining establishment to what is now a wet-led pub.

The good news in Totterdown is that the Star & Dove on St. Lukes Road has re-opened by Chris & Mel with Chris's brother Steven. It had closed in May. In St. Anne's the Langton Court is undergoing a refurbishment that could see significant changes but it is too early to say at the time of writing. The splendid facade is surely a draw for this suburban pub. The fine looking Elm Tree in Bishopsworth is another pub that has gained ACV listing due to the proactivity of its customers.

Following suggestions to the contrary we are reminded that the former Black Sheep at Almondsbury IS a pub now called Lodge on the Park, part of Aztec Hotel complex, and is selling Thwaites ale. In Lower Almondsbury, Butcombe has taken on the Bowl Inn, a quaint and cosy village pub next to the church in a classic English village setting. It should do well. There is bad news, however, at Alveston's Cross Hands which has closed and been sold by EI to an unknown buyer whose intentions for the place are not known, but are rumoured to be not pub-friendly. Our local man Martin Farrimond tells us that the Greene King owned Ship Inn at Alveston has a new manager, Emma. Emma says "Somewhere along the line things changed and the Ship's fantastic history got forgotten. Having looked back through the history of the Ship Inn, my aim is to restore it to its former glory as the hub meeting place for the local community". In recent years, it has been primarily seen by locals as an eatery for the adjacent Premier Inn but now, there are a number of initiatives planned to redirect the focus: These include charity disco evenings throughout December and on New Years' Day, with all raised monies going to Macmillan Cancer support. There's a new dart board installed (drop in if you'd like to join their team); the local chess club meets every Thursday. Beginning in the New Year will be a weekly mothers' morning group. Keep your eyes open too for local brewers' sessions, where a brewer will be invited to talk about their craft - with their beers available at the same time, of course.

The new owner of the Shant in Kingswood would like to see it gone and housing built in its place but there are a lot of people who both enjoyed the pub and the architecture that it exhibits and so would like to see its retention. Wadworth pub the Queen's Head at Hanham is under new management since late August and the Midland Spinner at Warmley has been refused planning for the conversion of two outbuildings into dwellings due to the plans offering inappropriate design and lack of consideration of the effect on the culverted watercourse that runs through the site. According to the Doynton village newsletter the Cross House has been bought from EI by someone who plans to refurbish it and re-open it in February. Fingers crossed on that one. Nearby, the Carpenter's Arms at Wick closed in September and the freehold went up for sale but the pub re-opened in November. The Salutation at Mangotsfield has closed and a planning application is approved for its refurbishment, it is due for a re-opening in February under a new name the Grapevine. The White Swan on North Street in Downend has had a £50,000 refurbishment. This included a redecoration of the internals and externals as well as new signage and lighting, new fixed seating, a new bay floor and a new kitchen, which will serve filled rolls, pies and finger food. Some structural repairs have also been carried out. Bath Ales Gem and Sharp's Doom Bar are the regular real ales served alongside several real ciders. The pub supports two darts teams, hosts regular live music and shows a variety of live sport on TV. Landlord Andy Clough has run the White Swan for six years and has signed a new lease with NewRiver, which owns and oversees the management of 344 pubs across the UK alongside a wider retail and leisure portfolio.

Another Cygnus wanting to share positive news is the Swan at Winterbourne which is now properly known as the Swan Smokehouse Saloon following a fresh presentation of the outside with gleaming paint and wood cladding and the placement of new signage. Inside there is recycled timber in the bar room and the restaurant has been done out in an American wild-west theme where meat and more meat is the menu's main feature. Doom Bar and 6X ales were offered on a recent visit. The Cross Keys on North Road at Yate closed in the summer. This two roomed traditional community pub had been very popular due to its consistent reliable offerings that were enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. It has the feel of a cosy country pub but is right on the outskirts of Yate and is the nearest drinking pub to Yate Town Football Club. Its' near neighbour the Codrington Arms at Engine Common has just celebrated its first year of including the Post Office and village shop. The Post Office had been just along North Road until it closed and left Engine Common without the service until the pub stepped in to save it by moving into a building at the pub's rear, with the small shop.

The fight to save the Tern Inn on the 'Birds' in Chipping Sodbury continues at strength. The community have really got behind their local which is completely different from the High Street pubs in as much that it is a proper community local with emphasis on sporting and social cohesion, and has an ACV listing. The campaign has gained air time on local radio and has the support of Dodington Parish Council. We wish them well and support them in their worthy pursuit; the campaign can be followed on Facebook. In the high street the Portcullis Hotel re-opened mid-August as a smart and spacious pub and cocktail bar that caters for most tastes. A selection of gins is prominent, but the ale drinker has to switch to keg beer. The front snug majors on the cocktails and the outdoor seating area is well presented. Still in 'Sodbury, the old Grapes pub in the Tudor Raj in Sodbury is up for a new nil premium, free of tie lease with Fleurets, but the shock news is that the Good Beer Guide listed Horseshoe had been put up for sale! This pub is very new only coming to existence in 2014 when Dave and Gill evolved Gill's Gilly's Wine Bar into the fantastic real ale outlet that it has become. Gilly's itself had been opened around 2013 in the space that was previously occupied by Vickers Stationer.

The Riverside Inn at Saltford Marina has closed. Owner Wadworth says that they would like to re-open it under a new tenant with a new menu and re-marketing of the accommodation. A refurbishment is expected to start soon, prior to the re-opening. Dave Lockley tells us that the Battleaxes at Wraxall has just undergone complete redecoration, inside and out and looks great. Beers include Bristol Beer Factory Nova and the Three Castles Vale Ale (badged as Flatcapper Ale after the owner's name). Both ales were excellent on a recent visit and there is also of course, a new menu. News from the White Lion at Nailsea is that landlord John Lindsay has put the lease on the market after five years of running the pub, but it remains open and trading as normal. The Old Barn at Wraxall closed without warning in November and is now for sale.

As already mentioned Butcombe are acquiring pubs and two have been snapped up by them in their heartland. The Jubilee Inn at Flax Bourton and the Langford Inn at Lower Langford have both been added to the estate, in common with the Ostrich and the Bowl they were previously owned by Welsh regional brewer and pub owner SA Brain of Cardiff.

The saga at the Lord Nelson at Cleeve continues with owner Jonathon Tout reportedly saying that it is time to get some local dialogue going to understand the resident's wishes for the site compared to the plans of his company. Villagers had already obtained ACV listing for the pub earlier this year. At Congresbury Mezze have exited the Ship & Castle and Mark and Sarah have returned after five years away. The long closed Campbell's Landing in Clevedon is rumoured to be turned into flats and in Weston-super-Mare the Bristol House has been purchased by decorating firm Proper Job. The owner has always had an interest in pubs and recognises this opportunity to create a pub of his own, so ending the uncertainty that has dogged it for the last several years during which the supermarket chains, Tesco and the Co-Op, have both attempted to convert it into a shop but have fallen to strong well-supported campaigns that showed the will and desire of the community.

Please note that what is written here will go out of date so always check before you travel, and if you have any updates then please let us know.

And, remember that pub you always meet in before your Christmas do? Well it's shut, it closed last March and you didn't know. This could happen to your trusted pub, please support them all year round and not just for the festive celebrations!

Enjoy the season's pub festivities

Pub News - Spring 2017

One of the oldest buildings in Old Market, pre-dating 1700, has finished as a pub. It was last known as The Lounge but had been Pride, Mason’s Arms and Chequers before that. This listed building has been converted into an office by the City Fox taxi company apparently with minimum consultation. Just off Old Market in Broad Plain the long-closed Printers Devil (note the missing apostrophe) has a planning application pending for a refurbishment that extends into Goldsmith House next door. The whole development which includes numbers 5 to 10 is earmarked for use as A3, A4 and B1. A4 does include public houses but we don’t know if this includes a traditional or community pub or a continental style-bar but we look forward to new life being injected into the Printers Devil which closed in 2008.

In the West End the Pineapple has closed again and is boarded up but we are told it will re-open soon, probably as something else, perhaps a wine bar or similar. The Hope and Anchor on Jacob’s Wells Road has been relinquished by its owner who is going to concentrate his efforts into exciting developments at his other pub, the Bristol CAMRA branch Pub of the Year, The Volunteer Tavern in St. Judes. The Hope and Anchor will now be ran by James and Chris, formerly of the Cornubia. We have received information that the Kingsdown Wine Vaults will be closed by the end of June as the new owner of the building does not want it to be a pub anymore, it is the view of the informant that it will be proposed to convert it into flats although there is interest from at least one potential licensee to take the pub on so it may continue serving the community.

The Prince of Wales in St. Paul's is undergoing conversion into a café, recording studio and housing while the Merchant’s Arms in Stapleton has closed and it has been sold by Greene King.

Meanwhile Greene King has spent a lot of money, a reported £ 300,000, refreshing and changing the image of the former Duke of York on Horfield Common. They have re-opened it as the Crafty Cow as a family diner, community pub and day-time café style meeting place with up-to-date décor and improvements all round, and also benefits from a leisurely garden.

In Fishponds the Morrison’s owned Farrier’s Inn is being offered 'To Let’ by Maggs & Allen. This pub has been closed for many years and has been at the centre of controversy because of change of use proposals and squatters. It is now encouraging to see that it has a chance of a return to community pub use. Bristol Beer Shop which occupies the former Cross Keys pub on Fishponds Road is for sale. The owner, Lewis, tells us that he has just acquired an on-licence and had plans to use the former pub cellar for some sort of tap room venture.

Plans are in place to convert the Imp in Southville from a popular pub into upper floor flats, housing in the garden and the ground floor possibly sub-let as a café/bar which could be operated by a community interest company. In Brislington the planning application to convert a retail unit into Bristol’s third micro pub has been withdrawn and it appears that the applicant may not follow up with another plan of this type. Meanwhile, however, the former Pilgrim has changed name to the Hollywood Tavern and has had its layout moved around. Pool and darts still available along with Sharp’s Doom Bar on the bar counter. The Salutation at Henbury closed in January but will re-open following refurbishment by the Stonehouse pub chain as the Henbury Arms, with a speciality for pizza and carvery.

The Tern Inn at Chipping Sodbury has been granted 'Asset of Community Value’ (ACV) listing by the local authority following a groundswell of support for this popular and well used pub. The developer, who wants to clear the site and build 28 homes, is in appeal of the decision. It is highly important that this pub is retained as the community has made a clear statement of their need for it by submitting well over 200 objections to the outline planning application that the developer submitted. Just into the new year the Railway at Yate closed and was immediately boarded up and hoarding placed around. Since then a planning application PK17/0888/PND has been made by UKS Group Ltd to demolish this locally listed pub and its outbuildings. The Live and Let Live at Frampton Cotterell has a new owner. The pub re-opened in December under the control of local lady, Karen, who brings local knowledge and business experience. The place has been brightened up and is serving up to three changing real ales from the likes of Fuller’s, Butcombe and Elgood’s among others. It has an all-welcoming village hub feel to it and has a policy of supporting 'unconventional charities’. There are regular music and entertainment nights, TV sports, and a team in the local darts league. The installation of a kitchen and outdoor furniture is imminent.

We have received news that the White Horse at Hambrook has received a significant joint investment from the new publican and Enterprise Inns. This is the third Enterprise Inns/publican partnership taken on by the already-owner of two Clifton pubs and is due to open in March following significant transformation. The Duck & Willow in Downend is impressing with its fresh image as a local community hub that enjoys an injection from destination diners and travelling imbibers.

After an encroaching process of site fragmentation, planning permission has finally been granted for the Tennis Court Inn at Kingswood to become housing along with the rest of the site. The Anchor Made Forever in Kingswood is undergoing conversion into a nursery and another casualty in South Gloucestershire is the Royal Archer in Kingswood, it was demolished back in the autumn. South Gloucestershire is our point of focus at the moment as 21 pubs have been permanently lost so far in the last eight years.

Enterprise Inns is selling the Cross House in Doynton. The Asset of Community Value is to be disposed of but as the only pub in the village it is an essential asset for the village. The nearest pub, in Wick, is a treacherous 1.5 mile walk away along unlit roads with no pavements.

The Malthouse is the new name on the Thornbury pub scene since its opening in December from what had been the Knot of Rope. Marston’s have spent £100,000 on a refurb and are presenting a spick and span look. Up to four ales are available from the extended Marston’s portfolio.

In North Somerset the Lord Nelson at Cleeve has been bought by Tout’s Budgens, the mini-market specialist. They are in consultation with villagers and pub users to form a plan for the site. As the village’s only pub and a popular one at that we conclude that there should be only one outcome of these talks based on the fact that Asset of Community Value listing has already been gained for the Lord Nelson by local people with the assistance of a petition of nearly 700 signatures! Other pubs for sale in the region are the Bristol House in Weston super Mare at £400,000 with Fluerets and the Plume of Feathers in the tiny Somerset village of Rickford is offered at £625,000 with agent Stonesmith Property Specialists. The long closed Pioneer in Keynsham is undergoing conversion into housing but it’s all change at the Warwick Arms at Clutton which is no longer a Mezze restaurant, the site has been passed onto Jackie and Raj who will be serving their twist on traditional pub food.

Kev Williams has told us that the Borough Arms at Weston-super Mare is now under new management, with reduced ale prices. Serving at the moment is one changing beer but ale trade is up and a second changing ale is to be introduced soon. The Good Beer Guide listed Two Pigs at Corsham closed late 2016 and has now been granted change of use, a sad loss for this popular pub.

Last quarter we reported on the closure of local Heritage Pub the Red Lion at Ampney St. Peter in Gloucestershire. The latest from our Pub Heritage Group is that this rare rural gem has been granted ACV status thanks to a CAMRA campaign. The owner has notified the Council of the intention to sell, so a group is being organised to register its interest in bidding. The group is called Cotswold Taste (CT). What they have in mind is a Drewe Arms (a pub in Drewsteignton, Devon) type of operation with the historic core preserved and something upmarket and gastro built around it. We await a successful outcome.

Pub News - Spring 2016

With around 125 pubs permanently lost in our branch area in the past 10 years it is encouraging when a new pub comes along. But during the last quarter two new pubs have appeared in the city of Bristol. While the Old Market Assembly is a conversion of the former nightclub Flamingos, the Draper's Arms on Horfield's Gloucester Road is a brand new licensed premises - and Bristol's first dedicated micropub to boot. Occupying a space which had become a sad and sorry closed retail unit it had been a draper's shop not so long ago. And as evidence that the public enjoy a no frills pub with a choice of drinks that includes no national brands and no forced entertainment such as music and gaming machines, the pub is extremely popular and has settled in very quickly due in no small part to its excellent hosts, good décor and engaging conversation along with the local ale and cider. By contrast the Old Market Assembly does have all the thrills. A kitchen, a stage, mezzanine floor - and a theatre called The Wardrobe. Four local real ale hand pumps are arranged on the smart bar counter alongside the ciders and lagers offered from keg fonts. The open kitchen and servery tempts diners with its clean look and when the diners have had their fill the stage comes alive on entertainment nights. The mezzanine floor offers an alternative vista of the happenings below and a bit of space should you need it. It is run by the same people as at No1 Harbourside and the Canteen and it gives a new dimension to the dynamic of the Old Market scene.

The Palace Hotel in Old Market has taken out its hand pump. Real ale is available from micro-cask containers so ask what is on before you order. More central the former Elephant in St. Nicolas Street is now the Boardroom. This new European bar and dining concept is aimed at social grazers who are looking for seasonal light dishes alongside local ciders, craft beers and wines. Change has also taken place at the former Velindra in Redcliffe, now The Nook café bar it has been completely made over but we have not got any information on it at the time of this article going to press. Please take a look and let us know what you think!

Sadly I have to report that the popular Port of Call in Clifton closed at the start of the year and is 'To Let'. In Chandos Road, Redland popular former Bristol publican Mark Farrell has made an application to convert a closed shop into Bristol's second full-blown micropub. It would be great to see a micropub in this location especially as there is a bit of a gap in pubs in this locale. We wish Mark all the best with this venture. Back on Gloucester Road the former Foresters has re-opened as the Gloucester Road Ale House under the ownership of the Wickwar Wessex Brewing & Pub Company and has its trading area over two floors with a bar on each. Cask and craft beers, ciders and a full range of wet offerings along with a diverse menu can be found.

The recently refurbished Black Horse at Redfield is open but has been sold - subject to contract by Fleurets after being offered at £195,000. The Chequers at Kingswood has a planning application from Tesco. Local residents fought a good battle to quash a similar scenario a year or so ago but Enterprise Inns and Tesco seem intent to cause further irritation a second time around. For sale with James A Baker is the White Hart at Whitehall, this former Courage and Bass outlet closed earlier in 2015. A surprise closure has occurred at Café Des Amies on the Whitehall Road, the good news is though, that it is re-locating to Easton Community Centre to open mid-March.

In the south of the city the smart corner building in Bedminster that is the Albert has been closed for a little while and has undergone a refurbishment as the Albert Lounge. Residents local to the Imp in Southville are passionate about their pub. It closed on 30th January and they want it back, so they are mounting a strong campaign which includes the seeking of registration of the Imp as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).

In Warmley the Station Master is now surrounded in scaffolding but its fate is not apparent but we understand that it may be set for demolition. Mystery continues to surround the Cherry Tree in Oldland Common. Having suddenly closed back in the autumn high fencing was erected and it probably changed hands after being offered for sale. There is now a planning application to develop the building into seven apartments with complete loss of the pub. This pub was very popular in the recent past and deserves to be once again. The Tennis Court Innat Kingswood remains closed and inactive. An application to list this pub as an ACV was rejected by South Gloucestershire Council in 2015 but there is a great deal of local support for it to return as a community pub and the Bristol Pubs Group whole heartedly backs this campaign. The owners of a pub that has been awarded ACV status have declared a wish to sell. The King William IV at Hallen in South Gloucestershire is the only pub for some distance, the nearest one being the Blaise Inn over the boundary in Bristol but it is a three mile journey to the nearest South Gloucestershire pub. Enterprise Inns, owners of the long closed White Horse in Hambrook, have been successful in gaining planning permission for new signage for this Grade II listed building. We will be pleased to see this popular and formerly well-used pub back in business.

In BANES the Pioneer in Keynsham is scaffolded. This pub has been closed for a couple of years but we don't know whether this latest progression is in favour of pub use. The Jolly Sailor at Saltford has new owners who are fully intending that it is business as usual under their ownership and are building upon the popularity that the pub has long enjoyed. In Chew Magna the Queen's Arms has been re-opened by Sally Valentine and her husband following a refurbishment at the back end of last year. Still Wadworth owned, local beer Butcombe Bitter is presented alongside Wadworth staples and seasonal ales while the restaurant accommodates those that wish to dine. Great news at Redhill where the Darlington Arms is under new ownership having been extensively refurbished where there appears to be something-for-everyone, with ales from regionals and local breweries alongside food, pub games and comfy seating. This pub has very often featured in this column with trepidation and fear that it could be lost forever. Now it has a great foundation for a prosperous future. Unfortunately the news at the Rising Sun at Backwell is that following closure its owner Punch Taverns is said to be considering redevelopment of the site, including the pub, into a mix of apartments and houses. Locals are campaigning against the plan and would like to see a new owner turn the place into a successful community-friendly pub business. The Rising Sun is for sale at a whopping £600,000. There are two other pubs in Backwell but one of those, the New Inn, is closed and has had plans for redevelopment rejected for now. Only the food led George would remain in Backwell if the Rising Sun and New Inn were to be lost.

If you're shopping in Cabot Circus or Broadmead and you fancy a beer then you may be a bit miffed that you need to leave the shopping area in order to get a decent pint. But consider this: when I started drinking the immediate choice around the shopping area was as follows;

Note that all the comments here are from my own memory so corrections are welcome! And beware, keg beer back then was definitely NOT akin to the new wave that it is now under its 'craft' moniker.

Tennis Court Inn has been in serious threat of demolition.

Portcullis at Staple Hill - student lets planned.

The Horseshoe used to be a stationery store.

              Keep pubbin'
             Mike Jackson, for the Bristol Pubs Group