The Mall Public House, Clifton, Bristol
Bristol Travel Blog› entry 30 of 37 › view all entries
Nicole was a fast rising star in the Ansell Brewery. The Mall pub being one of their establishments. She was put there to sort the place out after the QC who lived next door had it shut down.
The Mall was a typical university pub. Bristol uni was only a 10 minute walk from here and plenty of the students lived in the neighbourhood and had the place rocking most nights.
The previous manager had run the place like a swill house. It had been shut down for 6 months as a result.
When I got the job there as a bouncer they had just got the licence back a couple of weeks before and Nicole thought my policing skills would be great help to keep trouble at bay.
She was a hard taskmaster and knew exactly how to turn the place around.
We were still in the throws of employing staff. New bar staff and a new cook for the kitchen were all employed within my first week.
Luke the Cook was an odd bloke that had been a chef in the navy. He ended up becoming a thorn in my side.
Nicole also had a rule about employing beautiful bar staff, apparently lovely people meant higher beer sales. I must admit I didn't mind that at all, not only because of the inference I was a bit handsom but also because it made working there lots of fun too!
The house on the back of the pub needed a make-over.
Nicole was in the top two floors. The level she expected me to have had been used by the previous manager as a dog kennel for his two big Alsatian dogs.
He'd filled the bath for them to drink out of and fed them straight onto the floor. They had a free run over the whole place and the windows were nailed open about 3 inches so they could breathe fresh air.
This was one of the reasons the QC shut the place down.
When I came in the floor was grubby. The bath was empty but disgusting, and dog hair was everywhere. Nicole fronted up with the cash and it took me a week to scrub and paint the place before I could even consider moving in.
In the meantime I was in the York Hotel across the square. It was a reasonably priced place providing bed and breakfast each day. Most of the guests were permanent, and one step away from homelessness I think. I had to get out of there as soon as possible.
One of the chambermaids was from NZ. We struck up a bit of a friendship until she left Bristol.
Behind the hotel was the York Cafe. It was a very funky but very basic diner. Formica tables, good food, cheap prices and big mugs of coffee. Just the place for all us poor blokes to hang for a day when we had no work and no money. The sound system was always blasting out great tunes at a rocking volume.
My first week out of Pilning I explored the area of Clifton. The second week I painted the flat and moved in. I couldn't afford furnishings at that stage but it wasn't long until I had everything I needed to make life compfy for a single bloke.
I'd definately landed on my feet with Nicole at The Mall.
Darryn and Tony helped with the set-up of my place and spent plenty of evenings hanging at the pub. I only had one day off each week so we'd try to do something different when we could, but mostly I had nights off during the week and they had weekends of course.
Bristol has a very cool jazz scene and I would often get along to some very slick gigs within walking distance of the pub when I found myself at a loose end on a night off.
I settled into a great routine during the 6 months I worked up there. Sadly I never saw much of Rachel once I left Pilning but I had made a whole new circle of friends in the city and the odd dinner party we saw each other at was nice enough.