If you know about the Colosseum in Redcliffe, it was either you’re favourite pub in Bristol or you crossed the street to avoid it. The rough-and-ready pub was everything the modern gastropub isn’t, but that brought a certain charm hard to recreate. A proper boozer, opposite St Mary Redcliffe Church, it’s been a mainstay of Bristol since the 1960s. So it came as a shock when it suddenly shut down last month.
It feels like we hear that phrase too often these days. So it’s wonderful news to learn that the Colosseum has been saved and will reopen in the autumn. The owners of Mother’s Ruin and The Crown – some of the best music pubs in Bristol – have bought the pub (becoming part of the World Famous Dive Bars group).
Announcing the news last Friday (July 21), The Mother’s Ruin wrote on Facebook: “We are so happy to finally be able to share this news, and we hope you’re just excited as us for the day we open the doors. Follow the new page to stay in the loop.”
Knowing The Mother’s Ruin on St Nicholas Street and The Crown on All Saints Lane well, these pubs have bags of character and charm. So we expect the Colloseum to lose none of what made it initially special. It will, however, undergo some major refurbishment. Including moving the bar back to its original ’60s position.
Most of this will be structural and the focus will remain on keeping it a traditional boozer for locals. (That iconic sign is going nowhere!) Blessed with a 24-hour license, flexible hours could see it stay open until as late as 4 am. So expect plenty of late-night drinking, somewhere to relax long into the evening, and a kitchen offering small plates. While the beer garden will also receive a much-needed makeover.
The Colosseum looks to reopen in October, but you can follow its progress by heading to its Facebook page here.