Those about to enter nearby Bristol Crown Court can now get their shoes shined outside Wild at Heart on Broad Street by Harry. I have seen new businesses in Bristol offering a diverse service, but never before have I seen a young man in a bowler hat touting for trade on the pavement with a brush in one hand and polish in the other. It is certainly a unique business proposition.
Vintage is big business in Bristol at the moment and Wild at Heart has raised the bar, specifically by catering for the cordwain of sartorially inclined gentlemen while their well-dressed ladies can peruse the clothes on the rails inside.
This emporium of delights, from some of the team behind Heartfelt on Alma Vale Road in Clifton, may be the latest opening in Bristol to sell vintage bits and pieces, but that’s definitely not all there is here, where hats, scarves and jackets jostle for position with antique rocking horses and leather-bound books.
You can also have your hair cut, your teeth whitened, flowers arranged, wedding dress sourced and party held.
That’s not all. When I visited yesterday it was for their coffee, roasted by Extract. Mine was Hope Project from Tanzania, which I was reliably informed had notes of Black Forest gateau and cherries.
Sandwiches will soon be on their way, and there are enough cake stands to feed most of the city centre. At the moment, the only food on offer is homemade shortbread for 50p, with several jars of homemade apple and marrow chutney under the counter to be served alongside the food from next week.
It all makes for an intriguing offer, following in the footsteps of The Birdcage and coming not long before three more offering, one vintage, two coffee, also open nearby.
The sign has now appeared for new vintage shop Urban Fox replacing Mange Tout on Corn Street, Brunch on Small Street is due to reopen soon as Small Street Espresso, and what used to be Elsie Riley just up from Wild At Heart is becoming another speciality coffee emporium called Full Court Press.