There are currently too many pubs closing and either being demolished and being replaced by houses or shops or ...,
or being converted to other uses.
However the position is not totally bleak. In recent years there have been pubs which were not doing well, which
have been bought and turned around. Some of these pubs previously had a very poor reputation.
Pubs Turned Around
The trends in our (BPG) favour are:
1) Wetherspoons are still expanding in this region. Although their usual practice is to open new pubs, they have re-opened the Jolly Sailor in Hanham,
the Cabot Court Hotel in Weston, the Glassmaker in Nailsea (formerly the Glasscutter) and the W G Grace in Whiteladies Road (previously an Indian restaurant and a pub/bar).
2) The established local breweries adding to their pub chains:
a) Butcombe re-opened the former 'Smile Brewery Tap' as the Colston Yard.(Butcombe have generally taken over successful pubs and run them well).
b) Bath Ales took over the Wellington (at the junction of Muller and Gloucester Roads) and have established it as a pub serving good food and good beer.
Thay have opened Beer'd Bristol in St Michaels Hill (formerly a bar). They are converting the Hollybush at Bridgeyate to a Bath Ales pub.
3) The move of small local breweries into running pubs:
a) Arbor Ales took over the Old Stillage in Lawrence Hill and the Three Tuns near the Council House.
b) Bristol Beer Factory took over the Barley Mow in St Phillips and established the Grain Barge (a new pub) in Hotwells
4) 'Branded' Pub Chains:
a) Dawkins Taverns:
i) The Green Man (formerly the Bell) in Kingsdown and the Portcullis in Clifton have been taken over
(after being closed) by Dawkins Taverns in recent years and added to their pub group.
ii) They have also done the opposite of the local breweries by moving from running pubs to running
a brewery as well after the takover of Matthews Brewery at Timsbury.
b) Mezzé Inns have re-opened the Green Dragon in Downend as Mezzé At The Green Dragon and the Royal George at Thornbury as Mezzé at the Royal George.
5) 'Unbranded' Pub Chains:
a) The Robin Hood in St Michaels Hill was renovated and re-opened by the owners of the Ram in Park Street and the Richmond Springs in Clifton .
b) The Windmill in Windmill Hill, the Pipe and Slippers (formerly the Berkley Castle) in Cheltenham Road and the Lazy Dog
(formerly the Ashley Arms) in Ashley Down have been renovated and re-themed.
c) The Cross Hands in Fishponds and the Royal Oak (formerly the John Cabot) in Gloucester Road have been renovated and re-themed
d) The Horse and Groom behind the Council House was renovated and re-opened by the owners of the Orchard near the SS Great Britain.
e) Four Counties Inns have re-opened and renovated the Red Lion in Whitehall and the Tennis Court Inn in Kingswood.
f) The Smith & Jones chain have re-opened and renovated the Assembly (formerly Nelsons then Fussells) in Bedminster.
g) Euphorium Bakery Ltd have re-opened the Golden Bottle in Lockleaze, the Victoria in St Werburghs and the Coach and Horses in Gloucester Lane (Old Market).
h) The Albert and London Inn in Bedminster and the Velindra in Redcliffe have been refurbished and re-opened by the Holt family.
i) The long closed Sceptre in Baldwin Street, having been a sandwich bar has been re-opened by Brewdog (alas no real ale).
j) The tennants at the Beehive are now running the Kellaway as well.
k) The tennants of the Hope and Anchor in Jacob Wells Road now also run the Volunteer Tavern in St Judes and the Swan in Barton Hill.
6) Individual Pubs:
There have been several pubs not connected with any chain, whose fortunes have been turned around in recent years. The pubs that come readily to mind are:
Seven Stars - Redcliffe
Cornubia - Redcliffe
Bank - Broadmead
Phoenix - St Judes
New Inn - Mayshill
Eldon House - Jacobs Wells Road
Quinton House - off Queens Road
Bag of Nails - Jacob Wells Road
There is an annual review of the closing and re-opening of pubs in Pints West usually in the Spring edition. The last review was in
Pints West 93 (Spring 2012)
There are regular pub news items in each issue of Pints West.