There are currently too many pubs closing and either being demolished and being replaced by houses or shops, 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 is 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. Established local breweries adding to their pub chains:
    1. 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. They have opened Beer'd Bristol in St Michaels Hill (formerly a bar) and the Graze by Queens Square (formerly a bar and before that a Post Office).
    2. Wickwar has taken over the Cotham Porter Stores, the Jersey Lilly and the Foresters in Gloucester Road (they run the White Lion on the centre and the Downend Tavern.)
  3. The move of small local breweries into running pubs:
    1. Arbor Ales took over for several years the Old Stillage in Lawrence Hill and the Three Tuns near the Council House.
    2. 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:
    1. Dawkins Taverns:
      1. 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.
      2. 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.
    2. Mezzé Inns has re-opened the Green Dragon Downend, the Royal George Thornbury, Ship and Castle Congresbury, Warwick Arms Clutton, Anchor Ham Green and the White Lion Portishead as Mezze bar/restaurants (Mezze at the Green Dragon, etc.). They are due to convert Campbells Landing in Clevedon to a Mezze bar/restaurant. (We suspect the that Mezze at the Warwick Arms does not have a drinking area).
  5. 'Rise of Craft Beer':
    1. The long closed Sceptre in Baldwin Street, having been a sandwich bar has been re-opened by Brewdog (alas no real ale).
    2. Sublime (latest of its many change of names) in King Street has been re-opened as Small Bar (real and craft beer).
    3. Ross Brewery in Cheltenham Road (first of many names) has been re-opened as Crofters Rights (real and craft beer).
    4. The Naval Volunteeer in King Street has re-opened selling real and craft beer.
    5. The Hill (formerly Crockers) in Cotham Hill has re-opened as Bristol Brewhouse (microbrewery) and Kitchen selling real and craft beer.
  6. 'Unbranded' Pub Chains:
    1. The Robin Hood in St Michaels Hill and the Naval Volunteer in King Street were renovated and re-opened by the owners of the Ram in Park Street, and the Richmond Springs and Nettle & Rye (formerly Hophouse) in Clifton .
    2. 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.
    3. The Cross Hands in Fishponds and the Royal Oak (formerly the John Cabot) in Gloucester Road have been renovated and re-themed
    4. The tennants of the Spotted Cow in Bedminster are running the Christmas Steps (formerly Three Sugar Loaves.)
    5. Four Counties Inns has re-opened and renovated the Red Lion in Whitehall and the Tennis Court Inn in Kingswood.
    6. The Smith & Jones chain has re-opened and renovated the Assembly (formerly Nelsons then Fussells) in Bedminster.
    7. Euphorium Bakery Ltd has re-opened the Golden Bottle in Lockleaze, the Victoria in St Werburghs and the Coach and Horses in Gloucester Lane (Old Market).
    8. The Albert and London Inn in Bedminster and the Velindra in Redcliffe have been refurbished and re-opened by the Holden family.
    9. 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.
    10. Ed Lobett who used to run the Bank Tavern is now running the Hope and Anchor and the Port of Call.
    11. The tennants of the Mardyke in Hotwells are running the Coronation in Southville, the Long Bar in Old Market and the Whitehall Tavern in Redfield.
    12. The tennants of the Golden Guinea in Redcliffe are running the Steam Crane (formerley Bar Salt and other incarnations) in Bedminster.
    13. The tennants of the Tap and Barrel in Bedminster are running the Black Cat in Bedminster.
    14. The tennants of the Small Bar in King Street are running the Adam & Eve in Hotwells.
  7. 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:
    1. Seven Stars - Redcliffe
    2. Cornubia - Redcliffe
    3. Bank Tavern - Broadmead
    4. Phoenix - St Judes
    5. New Inn - Mayshill
    6. Eldon House - Jacobs Wells Road
    7. Quinton House - off Queens Road
    8. Bag of Nails - Jacob Wells Road

Pints West

There is an annual review of the closing and re-opening of pubs in Pints West usually in the Spring edition. There are regular pub news items in each issue of Pints West.