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.