Start The Bus

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5 reviews
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7-9 Baldwin Street,

(0117) 930 4370

The ViewBristol Review

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Review byElla Woods20/05/2008
This recently opened pub-cum-live-music-and-DJ-bar is from the same people as London’s Lock Tavern and Amersham Arms and provides a much needed credible music venue in Bristol’s chain bar saturated city centre.

The Venue
Boldly situated on the corner of Baldwin Street, Start The Bus is an island of cool in a sea of bland bars and identikit theme pubs. Once past the polite doorstaff you’re stood at the apex of an L-shaped venue skirted by a lengthy bar. To your right is a large seating area, crammed with innumerable sofas beneath large glass windows looking out onto the hen, stag and office parties meandering their way up Corn Street.

The venue stretches out with the huge bar on your right and opposing comfy booths and suede lined seats leading you towards the lowered dancefloor. With its solid sound-system and sizeable stage it’s a decent place to catch some of Bristol’s best DJs and live acts.

It’s the decor and design that really sets Start The Bus apart from the crowd though. Decorated to reflect the city’s vibrant arts scene, the walls act as an informal, rotating gallery of local artists’ work and are an endless source of interest.

The People
Given its location, in the heart of the city centre, you’d be forgiven for expecting the crowd at Start The Bus to be set on getting drunk, dancing like a loon before trying to crack on to someone of the opposite sex. But the doorstaff ensure that the drink soaked, devil-may-care stag and hen crowd stay on the streets outside.

A mish mash of plaid shirted students, neon clad nu ravers and stoically faced hip-hop heads make up a crowd that is as freshfaced and on trend as Start The Bus itself. The bar staff vary from stunningly polite and eager to nonchalant and self-aware, but they are all are finely presented and a pleasure on the eye.

The Music
Start The Bus has quickly managed to attract some of Bristol’s most established promoters since opening last autumn. With indie from Stutter, deep house and broken beat from Future Boogie, reggae from the brilliantly named Broader than Broadmead and hip-hop and more from the all female Dutty Girl, the music is always bang on.

The Food
By day Start The Bus really shines with its menu of generously portioned, high quality, comfort food at decent prices. With delicious, hearty homemade soup of the day and crusty bread at just £3.25, amazing steak sandwiches complete with crispy onion rings at a Burger King bashing £4.50 and a delectable fish pie crammed full of salmon, prawns and haddock for £7.50, Start The Bus is a decent option for lunch or a lazy afternoon.

The Last Word
Start The Bus is a much-needed injection of cool into Bristol’s city centre, offering great food and a relaxing, fashionable environment by day that flawlessly transforms into one of the city’s hottest live music and DJ venues each and every night.

There really isn’t anywhere better to grab a taste of Bristol’s unique arts and music scene all in one place.
Start The Bus has been reviewed by 5 users

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