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Raise a glass: Bristol’s pubs have had a tough year in and out of lockdowns

Pubs are back from the latest lockdown, but it’s been a tough year for Bristol’s landlords who’ve struggled to keep afloat through the many changes over the last year.

Coronavirus in Bristol

Pubs. They’re the places we go when we need to de-stress and unwind, and the places we go when we need to thrash and bounce off the walls. They’re the places we can be together, and they play a key part of their communities. But the past year has been a struggle for the many landlords and managers who’ve fought to keep their pubs afloat through the many changes the pandemic has brought. As so many of the landlords I have met have told me: “We are going to need pubs when all this is over.”

The Eastville Social Club – The club has been in existence for over 100 years and it’s a hidden treasure.
Queenshilling – This is a vibrant LGBT+ venue, but as we talk it is clear this has been a tough year for Paul and Andy.
The Elmer’s Arms – He has worked so hard to get bands to play here from all over the world and create a little piece of European style cosiness where the records are always spinning.
The Fringe – They tell me about how sudden it all was, how Clifton was instantly dead. “The hardest thing to think about is the future,” says Sylvie.
The Plough – Tom is busy organising veg boxes for the community care package several pub workers have spent their furlough organising.
The Beaufort – Patsy has been here decades. She takes down a box to show me dozens of photos of all the parties and people that have made this place. “It will be the end of my career here I think,” she tells me.
The Griffin – Bristol’s go-to heavy metal pub was looking forward to its busiest year before Covid struck.

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