Pubs are often the beating heart of a community. Britain’s iconic ‘third place’ (in sociological terms) is where we share our lives with friends and family week in, week out. But too often do we hear news of our local pubs shutting down, especially since the pandemic. One of these recent sad losses was The Rhubarb Tavern in Barton Hill.
An old Victorian boozer on Queen Ann Road, The Rhubarb Tavern shut in 2020, and with its closure, Barton Hill lost its last remaining pub. Thankfully, the historic pub was saved by the community from redevelopment – now two locals, Tara Clerkin and Sunny Paradisos (members of the band Tara Clerkin Trio), wanted to bring the pub back from the dead.
They set a minimum target of £35,000 and launched a crowdfunder to not only re-open The Rhubarb Tavern but also transform it into a community hub and music and arts venue. Well, not on have they smashed this target, but they’re setting their aims even higher with a new goal of £45,000. The new pub hopes to “combine our favourite parts of the traditional British boozer with the community-centred creative spaces we’ve found in bars and venues abroad.”
To give your support to The Rhubarb Tavern crowdfunder head here.
What will the refurbished Rhubarb Tavern be like?
First and foremost, The Rhubarb Taven will be a pub and all the things you associate with one: local breweries on tap, darts teams, Sunday roasts, pub quizzes and the rest of it. Secondly, it will double as an independent music venue – hosting exciting musicians from across the UK, Europe and beyond, as well as aspiring and established Bristol musicians.
But that’s not all, as the new target will allow the owners to set up basic studio facilities, like the music and pottery studios, as well as build a musical instrument library. With these, The Rhubarb Taven will be able to provide things like cheap pottery workshops and music lessons to young people and families. But they want the pub to become a new hub for the residents of Barton Hill. So, if you’ve got something for the community, The Rhubarb Tavern want to host it.
What happens next?
Before any of this can happen, there’s a lot of work to be done, including fixing the roof and electrics, replacing the floorboards, completely redecorating, installing a new bar and kitting out the venue with music gear. (And that’s only scratching the surface of the work that needs doing.)
If you want to help get Barton Hill’s last remaining pub back on its feet, however, there are a number of rewards you can claim from donating. Got a cool £10k knocking around? You could pour the first pint at The Rhubarb’s opening night. For us poorer folk, £40 can get you an exclusive Rhubarb Tavern t-shirt designed by Turbo Island. For music lovers, you can have guestlist for all ticketed gigs in the first year for £600.
To learn more about The Rhubarb Tavern and its renovations, and to donate head here.