The Griffin Returns

It should come as no surprise to any regular readers of this website to hear that the never-ending round of gay venue openings and closures in the area continues unabated. The Elephant/Ivory relaunched recently as the Market Place and Bristol’s other pub in the running for the longest-established gay venue mantle, the Griffin, reopened its doors recently, just a few short days after the previous incumbents had moved on.

I dropped in to have a chat with the new management team, Baz and Dean. Baz has some pub experience, having formerly been at the Golden Lion in Fishponds, but partner Dean is new to the business, having previously worked for a well-known local supermarket chain.

The couple are planning a few changes to the place, naturally, and intend to make the most of the opportunity to sell food and drink to local businesses. Baz tells me: “We’d been thinking about taking on a pub for a while when this place came up. We think we’ve a great opportunity to establish the pub for quality food, especially with Colston Hall virtually next door and the many offices around.”

“It was mainly the chance to open the kitchen that attracted us,” Dean adds. “We wanted a pub where we knew we could do food. Baz has the pub experience and will be looking after the bar, and I’ll be in the kitchen. We want to get that up and running as soon as possible.”

The recently refurbished Level One will be available for both dining and for private hire. “When new people come in I like to give them the tour, and the feedback is always really positive,” Baz says. “It’s a great space for a club or group that need a meeting room as well as being perfect for private dining.”

The boys plan to serve simple, traditional pub meals, Sunday roasts and concentrate on pre-theatre dining as well as offering local businesses the chance to take away a coffee and croissant for elevenses or something more substantial for lunch. They’re also bringing back the traditional Sunday night cabaret session, karaoke every Thursday and the weekly Griffin quiz on Tuesdays. With regular drinks promotions, at least one real ale on tap and the introduction of Griffin loyalty cards on the (ahem) cards, things are looking pretty positive for the old girl.

“It’s a lovely old pub with really nice regulars,” says Baz. “We just love the place.”

The Griffin 41 Colston Street, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 908 6731, web:
Open Sun-Thurs 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11am-late.


Item Written by Darryl W Bullock