The Cooler

Our rating 

The Cooler Nightclub,
48 Park Street,


The ViewBristol Review

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Review by05/12/2008
With a well established reputation for alternative music and stylish crowds, The Cooler is a popular and much needed component of Bristol's music scene.

The Venue
The Cooler is placed in the heart of the city, nearing the bottom of bustling Park Street. Surrounded by pricy female fashion haunts and kebab shops overflowing with grease, the club seems to be continually shedding its skin and reinventing itself, both in terms of music and interior decoration.

The decor is rather flashy – leather bucket seats, enough stainless-steel to build a small airplane and a mean sound/lighting system, which must be one of the best the city has to offer.

The People
It’s always a strange mix of folk at The Cooler. What seems slightly bizarre about this place is that although it packs out (especially at the weekends) the crowd never look particularly comfortable.

Perhaps it’s the small, slightly claustrophobic nature of the venue, or the tight skinny jeans most people seem to wear, but there’s no getting around the fact that many Cooler-goers have a continual uneasy expression.

The Music
Occasionally this is where The Cooler excels. Yet you feel as if there is room for far more acts with far more talent inside the club’s sweaty walls. However, the club does have an impressive history of booking bands just before they explode on the scene and this has surely helped it develop and nurture a respectable reputation.

Most nights are solely DJ affairs though and it is often a lucky dip in terms of the talent and nature of the night. Therefore beware of the scope of the phrase ‘alternative’ as you may cough up money to find it really isn’t your cup of tea. It's a mix of everything from indie and rock to punk, funk and ska.

The Drink
The bar-system of the club is flawed due to an eternal lack of staff and furthermore, a lack of bar space! Unfortunately the alcoholic drinks are also quite expensive, especially if you’re dabbling in doubles.

A pint of lager is £2.90, Guinness is £3.10 and a pint of cider is £3. On the upside, there are deals on bottled beers, and if you head down midweek you may not have to queue for an hour just to wet your whistle.

The Last Word
The Cooler is more often than not a fun night out, with some exciting up and coming bands, eclectic DJs and a youthful crowd. However, the layout, the bar problems and the sheer lack of live music seem like a bit of a missed opportunity.
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Content updated: 22/08/2012 10:51

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