The Hatchet Inn

Bars and pubs, Pubs Central Bristol
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The Hatchet Inn
Sal Maxuda

Eccentric Tudor pub that has a no-nonsense drinks list and quirky clientele. The music is the main draw, with regular rock-focused club nights and live bands

There’s something pleasingly rough-and-ready about The Hatchet Inn, which is undoubtedly Bristol’s most well regarded alternative pub. This starts with the building itself. Reputedly haunted, it was first erected in 1600 but has gone through numerous changes since. Even so, many of the original features remain – including, crucially, the Tudor frontage – and the further works have, if anything, increased its’ wonky, off-kilter charms.

On your first visit, the inside will feel lopsided and poorly planned out, with a maze of small rooms, low ceilings and vintage wooden beams. There’s a similarly eccentric beer garden outside, which in centuries gone by was used to host bear-bating and bare knuckle fighting.

Thankfully, neither of those pastimes are on offer these days, but this darker aspect of the pub’s history only adds to its unique character. There’s a similarly no-nonsense, down-to-earth feel about many other aspects of The Hatchet, from its simple drinks range, through to the music on the jukebox and quirky clientele (a mix of indie kids, metal fans, ageing alternative rockers and thirty and fortysomethings that really should know better).

The pub’s dedication to music is obvious. The upstairs room – filled with pool tables during the day – regularly hosts live bands and quirky, rock-centric club nights, while the location makes it a popular spot for those heading to gigs at the nearby O2 Academy and Colston Hall. Even if heavy metal, goth and alternative rock isn’t your thing, The Hatchet’s staff and eccentric regulars will still make you feel at home.

By: Matt Anniss


Venue name: The Hatchet Inn
Address: 27 Frogmore Street
Opening hours: Sun-Wed noon-11pm; Thu noon-1am; Fri-Sat noon-2am

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moderatorStaff Writer

When the end of the world comes, I'm pretty sure you'll still be able to get a pint in the Hatchet and listen to some AC/DC at a deafening volume. It's one of (if not the?) oldest pubs in Bristol, so the 20 years or so I've been drinking there are nothing the grander scheme. It's never going to be the nicest pub, but it's open late, isn't expensive, and I can't recall seing a single fight in there, which is something for the Centre. It's also in the ideal location for getting chips from Rendezvous on your way to join a taxi queue. Just need to not mind drinking with jitters, goths or metalers