An identical handwritten sign pinned to their front doors was one of the only clues that last orders have been taken at four south Bristol pubs.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances we are closed till further notice”
The four pubs closing are all in Bedminster: the Albert Lounge, the Black Cat, the London Inn and the Tap & Barrel.
A post on the Albert’s Facebook page gave more clues as to its closure: “It is with regret, we inform you, that as of today 29th March 2023, the Albert lounge has ceased trading. The decision has been taken predominantly due to increased price rises with energy rates and all of our suppliers.
“On behalf of the Albert team management, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued loyalty for the past seven years.
“Without your support, our success would not have been possible, however under the current business climate, we have been left with no option but to close down.
“Thank you once again for the loyal and continuous support you have shown us over the years we have been trading. We will miss you all, and feel truly devastated that it has come to this.”
The Tap & Barrel also made an announcement via their social media: “As you may of heard The Tap and Barrel has unfortunately had to close due to constant rise in cost of living.
“We regret this very much but would like to thank all customers who walked through our doors for their custom and a huge thanks to staff for your hard work.
“A huge thanks to Deb for all the work she put in trying to keep it open. Thank you and we wish you all the best.”
While the immediate future of the pubs remain uncertain, it is hoped that all four can reopen as pubs, perhaps under new owners.
Something that nobody wants to see happen is any of the historic buildings to be turned into housing.
Just up Westbourne Grove from the Black Cat is the Princess of Wales, its pub sign still intact but its interior now turned into flats.
All photos: Martin Booth
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