On Friday, March 28, the iconic Greenbank pub in Easton will reopen its doors as a neighbourhood family boozer after a three year campaign to save the venue.
The 100-year-old former hotel, an iconic landmark on Belle Vue Rd, was to be demolished to make way for a housing development of flats and maisonettes but planning was denied after strong opposition from local residents and councillors.
It is the team behind the Zazu’s Kitchen restaurants in Bishopston and Southville that have taken on the Greenbank, with a 10 week refurbishment including a redesigned bar, banquette leather seating areas, new lighting and colour schemes as well as a new kitchen and refurbishment of the upstairs function room and bar. Renowned landscape gardeners The Secret Garden Company have transformed the outside courtyard.
The newly formed pub arm of Zazu’s Kitchen was launched by three successful Bristol entrepreneurs: club and bar owner turned restaurateur James Savage; Dougal Templeton, founder of Venue magazine, the vouchercloud discount app and Goldbrick House and restaurateur Toby Bywater, the face of Zazu’s.
Says James, “Zazu’s is all about creating quality local neighbourhood amenities – the kind of friendly place you’d love to have down the end of your own street. And we’re working hard to achieve that with the Greenbank.
“You can tell from the sheer number of people who opposed the demolition of the pub – in their hundreds – and the overwhelming number of messages of support we have received, how important the Greenbank is to Easton. We take that incredibly seriously and will work hard to make the pub a special community hub.”
The bright, spacious upstairs function room is being made available free for non-profit community groups, classes and activities and the pub will re-introduce live music nights and open mic spots. “We will also be very supportive of local practitioners offering a community service, “ said James.
As a free house, the Greenback will offer a range of craft beers, ciders, quality real ales, wines and cocktails. Drinks highlights will include tipples from Butty Bach, Towles, Orchard Press, Severn Cider, Wiper & True, Ashley Down Brewery, Kirin, and Anchor Steam, while their acclaimed coffee will also be available from 9.30 in the morning.
The food offering will centre around fresh, quality pizzas and keenly priced “bowls’ including keralan fish, coconut and tamarind curry or spiced butternut and chickpea stew. Bar snacks, like salt cod croquettes or gruyere prosciutto and roasted garlic nachos, made in the Greenbank pizza ovens, will be served tapas-style at the large, circular bar. Or you can simply grab a bacon butty & chips.
Sunday roasts are intended to become a local institution. James explained: “The Sunday sessions at the Spotted Cow have become massively popular and we are hoping to create the same vibe here, with laid-back live Sunday jazz sessions a part of the mix.”
The two Zazu’s restaurants have received rave plaudits from critics and locals alike and the team intend to continue achieving praise for the affordable, quality food which will all be prepared on the premises, using mainly local suppliers. Greenbank will also stock Towles ales, brewed in Easton. They have also supported Easton artists by buying local art for the pub.
Partner Dougal Templeton commented: “In differing ways, all three of us have been heavily involved in Bristol community-based projects and it is really fitting that we have brought a community institution back to life. There’s been so much local goodwill, which we really appreciate, so we are very hopeful the pub now has a long and fulfilling future.”
Hours: Mon-Thurs 9.30 – 12midnight; Fri-Sat 9.30am – 1am; Sun 11am – 12midnight
57 Belle Vue Rd, Easton, BS5 6DP