"I used to live in Chepstow, South Wales, and it wasn’t far to come for a night out in Bristol. I loved it, it’s got a great vibe. I was in the building industry, fitting a lot of kitchens and bathrooms – a very different job. A lot of our work was in Bristol, so I’ve been coming here ten years before moving. There was nothing to keep me in South Wales so I made the move, and didn’t know anyone here – but it’s the best thing I’ve done.
When we first opened the pub, it was just the one half, so it’s developed since; the bit we’re in now used to be a beauty salon. My father and I have done everything here ourselves: every tile, the bar, the kitchen, the toilets.
We’ve always had a big yard space from our last home, so we collected stuff over the years. The RNLI poster is an original. My dad’s got a vintage lifeboat, two actually, both restored – this is one of the 1940s posters."
"There’s a model ship in the corner which my great grandad built. He built ten in his lifetime, some are in museums. And we’ve got the time machine, with a whisky still. It’s built from engine parts, and stuff we’ve cobbled together.
The last two years we’ve been doing pop-up restaurants at the pub, so every month the food changed, with a different chef. We’re going back to a permanent chef now, but not stopping the popups… they are moving to a secret new location!"
"We do a little side promotion as well, so we have people come from other venues in Bristol and put on shows. We’ve always kept the same format: good food, good drink and live music. We’re not the biggest place, so I can’t pay people as much as I’d like, but a few years ago we introduced cocktails and we offer a nice experience to bands coming – I always try and give them as many free drinks as I can.
My listening tastes are quite broad, but if it’s Nick Cave or Prince, I’m sold. I take the sound very seriously, and when we have someone in, it’s about making them feel at home. Because I’ve done that, I get a lot of people contacting me now. It just evolved naturally."