Mojito on tap. Yes, you read that correctly. Mojito on tap. White rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and mint. From the tap. That fact alone should succinctly sum up the relative merits of the Drawbridge pub on the centre. But if any more information is needed, here goes:
The Drawbridge is situated next door to the Hippodrome, which from Friday is hosting in Bristol the first ever touring production of The Lion King in the UK.
The pub’s position next to Bristol’s “West End theatre” should therefore stand it in good stead for a bumper few months with hundreds of potential new customers every day.
Sadly, however, that is not the case, and instead the Drawbridge – owned by The Original Pub Company, who also have the Roo Bar and Bay Horse on their books – is somewhere best avoided, unless you want to go for the aforementioned mojito on tap, the plentiful drinks promotions or the big screens showing live sport.
Unlike what many signs inside proclaim, the Drawbridge does not serve “The best drinks in town!” The one ale on tap when I visited last weekend was Doom Bar, but this is not the sort of place where its cellar condition can be trusted, so I stuck to the safe option of a Blackthorn, also avoiding “The best food in town!” which includes a chip shop platter for £6.99 and a “mega burger” for £7.49.
It could be any time inside at any time of the day, with the only windows at the front of the pub. On a sunny Bank Holiday afternoon, a stag do wearing personalised yellow Watford football shirts were the only people with an excuse to be nocturnal, as they relived their escapades from the night before.
If the Drawbridge has any kind of saving grace, then it’s the ship’s figurehead outside of a chieftain from the Caribbean, wearing a tobacco leaf headdress and skirt meant to represent the bounty of the West Indies.
According to this account on the M Shed website, the design was originally the figurehead of a paddle steamer called the Demerera, and used to be positioned outside Quay Head House, now The Milk Thistle.
But in another disappointment in this pub, their figurehead is only a replica, with the original in the care of Bristol Museums Service.
The Drawbridge, 14 St Augustine’s Parade, Bristol, BS1 4UT. 0117 929 8391.