It seems we can’t go five minutes these days without the announcement of another restaurant opening its doors. You could argue that the Bristol food scene is at it’s very peak right now, with Cargo flourishing, Whiteladies Rd on the up and up and more Michelin stars for Bristol restaurants announced these past few weeks.
But with all this growth has to come loss sooner or later. Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye, but it’s a necessity in these changing times. We’ve taken a look back at those Bristol food institutions which have closed their doors for good, and will be lamented by many.
This surprise news was broken over on Instagram last week; after 3 glorious years of trading at various markets in and out of the city, those creative geniuses behind the Big O Donut Co are calling it a day. Pour one out for their incredible banoffee pie and fresh cream donuts, those things were legendary
Tucked away on St Nicholas Street, this tiny booze nirvana was heaven for fans of craft beers and real ales. Perfect for popping in to on the way home for mid-week beer provisions, it shut up shop earlier this year and has been lamented by Bristolians ever since.
The last bastion of old-school Bedminster at the top of North Street, lost as the imminent threat of Hobbs House bakery opened their doors just over the road. Denny’s was by no means fancy, but the beige 80s interior and giant overstuffed sandwiches were something else. Carb queens of Bedmo are currently weeping into their baps...
Talking of carbs, one of the most shocking closures of 2017 came when Bagel Boy closed all three of its stores across the city without even so much as a warning. Having enjoyed success for a number of years, perhaps the people of Bristol had moved on from hot salt beef and were exploring pastures new. Either way, they have left a giant bagel-shaped hole in our hearts.
Alongside the disappearance of Bagel Boy was its little pizza slice brother, Proven. Hawking slices of their massive pies for a couple of quid a pop, it was perfect lunch break fodder for the working folk near St Nicks. They took a pizza our heart when we waved goodbye earlier this year.
The excitement of the Bristol food world at Rebel Roll’s long-awaited opening was palpable, which made their abrupt disappearance even more shocking and heart-wrenching. But fans of the St Werburger can fear not - chef Alex is cooking up a storm at the brilliant Squeezed on Wapping Wharf.
Since 1986, this Clifton Village institution served up hot, crusty pizzas to the student folk of Bristol University and inquisitive souls seeking out one of the best pizza joints in the city. Their rustic, understated decor remained unchanged since their inception, and their ginormous pizzas and flagons of wine were perfect fodder for an impromptu date night. RIP.
Stalwarts of the sandwich world, famous for their excessively giant baps, stuffed with freshly roasted meats and any of their salads you liked, including potato and pasta salad if you were that way inclined. Maximillions "lovingly "and loyally fed the hungry hordes of central Bristol folk but abruptly shut up shop less than a couple of weeks ago, leaving a large gap in the double-carb lunch market.
This Polish gem in the middle of Fishponds served up a taste of Krakow - oversized, overstuffed Polish sandwiches and killer pierogis to satisfy your need for proper stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. It disappeared at the end of August with no plans to reopen, but not before one last hurrah, including selling kilo bags of frozen pierogi to devastated customers.
One part cafe, one part workshop, one part gig venue and a whole heap of brilliant, Roll for the Soul is Bristol’s first and only community bike cafe. At the time of writing they are still trading, but will be closing their doors at the end of 2017, made in an announcement on their blog. Still time for a bit of tinkering and grub - go show them some support!
Another shock closure without any warning, the mighty Tube Diner in BS4’s Paintworks closed its doors recently and ceased trading. Famous for their pancake stacks, epic breakfasts and killer chilli, not to mention the beautiful Airstream trailers in which they made their home. They will be sorely missed.
This unassuming artisan pizzeria on Gloucester Road has been described by Mark Taylor as one of the best pizza joints in town – but you'd find that they were doing something a little different to the others. Sadly this frankly excellent pizza place quietly closed its doors in the last few weeks. We hope Gregory pops up somewhere else soon.