The Griffin

41 Colston Street, BS. 1987 – 2010.

This small Victorian pub on a quirky triangular site opened as a gay pub in the Summer of 1987, the landlords for a few years were a couple called Garry and Chris. It broke the dominance of the Elephant, Bristol’s main gay pub since the mid 1970s.

Its easygoing middle-of-the-road atmosphere attracted a mixed, cloney crowd of 30+ men and a few lesbians. During the 1990s it was well placed when most gay venues clustered around the axis of Frogmore Street. There was a small upstairs bar for private functions; as legal attitudes relaxed in the late 1990s this was transformed into a dark room.

The Griffin lost favour after 2000 as the centre of nightlife moved to Old Market.

  4 Responses to “Griffin”

  1. In the late 80’s Sunday nights at around 10.30pm was always singalong songs. The butchest leather queens would hold feathers and balloons aloft to show tunes played out loud. It was always a great way to end the weekend !

  2. I worked here in 1989. Sewart, who ran the place, was adorable. There was a fruit machine at the back right.

  3. In 2000, I was one of “the few lesbians” loved this place 🙂

  4. I worked here for about 3.1/2 years. I would do shifts there and then go up to The Oasis on Park Row! Great times. The one shift I always remember is when I served a really sexy guy one day who was a complete dish, and I asked him where I recognised him from and after chatting him up for about an hour and a half, he eventually admitted he was a porn star.

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