Bocabar has brought a much-needed retreat to the busy hub of Paintworks. Have taken residency in a large warehouse, owners Mel and Paul have stamped a signature style across the huge space. From the vibrant, soft textiles to the squishy leather sofas that fill the floor – sinking your behind into a cosy corner feels like coming home to the house of your dreams. Bocabar has encapsulated the character of Bristol’s creative community and become a favourite of cultured types. This place also gets a gold star for playing babysitter with aplomb, a huge child-friendly space for toddlers to lollop about in.
The handcrafted pizzas fly out of the oven from midday till late, enjoyed by well-heeled mothers meeting for lunch and the evening crowds lining their stomachs. These are real-big pizza pies, brimming with seasonal ingredients or classic combos and toppings such as stringy mozzarella, fat juicy artichokes, and tender Somerset ham. The rest of the menu is a real ode to Ottolenghi, and therefore completely unfaultable.
Weekends see the lights lower and the energy turned up a notch. Weekly events include live jazz performances on Saturdays, and DJs on Fridays to shake off the week to. The exhibitions are well worth checking out, and showcase some serious talent.