Rain glistens on the pavements of Easton, clouds loom menacingly overhead and walking into G Bros. Pizza is like being enveloped in a warm, comforting bear hug.
People are already flocking in on opening night: old friends, family, dedicated pizza lovers. It quickly becomes clear the business already has quite a following and it’s not hard to see why.
It’s not just the pizza, although the aromas coming from the oven are tantalisingly mouthwatering, it’s not even the cosy, intimate setting and cheerful medley of colours. It is the welcoming atmosphere that really sets this place apart.
A beaming grin greets me behind the bar as a waist-coated man insists I will not be in the way as he pulls me out a pew at the bar and presents a menu with a cheerful flourish.
The two large-ish wooden tables in the tiny restaurant are taken up with a family finishing up a relaxed early evening meal, while children play by the door and a contented-looking pair polishing up vast plates of pizza, as more people jostle to join me at the bar.
Most recently home to Zero Zero, the building’s former owners decided to shut up shop due to family commitments, but not before ensuring the pint-sized premises was passed onto a team that shared their philosophy for well sourced ingredients and great pizza.
Their popular vegan cheese remains very much a feature on the new menu.
After fleetingly flirting with the idea of Mister Harissa, (harissa roasted aubergine, spinach and feta), or It’s Better With Feta (Serrano ham, black olives and feta), I finally opt for Farmhouse, a topping of Serrano ham, mushroom and buffalo mozzarella.
I add a side of rocket and Parmesan salad, regretfully pass on the Wiper & True ales on offer and settle back to soak up the atmosphere.
Speakers in the corner band out uplifting tunes, there is a vibrant hub of happy chatter as a steady stream of people come in, many greeting the brothers by name and sharing in the delight of their new venture.
Perched at the bar, I chat to front of house guru, Gareth, as he works, who tells me that he and his brother, Geoff, both former teachers, worked up quite a reputation travelling the country in their pizza van before setting up their first proper premises back home in Bristol.
“Usually the Parmesan would be flaked but we don’t have a grater yet,” Gareth apologises, placing a heaped plate of salad in front of me.
I don’t know if I’m more delighted by the wonderfully generous portion for £2 that lesser establishments would easily charge a fiver for, or the fact that a restaurant that deals mainly in cheese neglected to buy a grater.
And this is by no means a fault; it merely adds to the overall charm.
My medium pizza (£7) is similarly plentiful in size, piled with topping on a fresh, crispy dough base. Hot and full of flavour, it was a mindblowingly satisfying experience that was perfectly accompanied by the crisp, tartness of the Rucolo.
An hour or so later, gazing forlornly at the two slices leftover on my plate, I finally admit defeat. Too good to leave, I ask for a bit of tinfoil to take the last morsels home.
Gareth dutifully heads off to the kitchen, only to pop his head out through the latch to say I’d be better off with a proper pizza box. “They are wonderful” he says, “made of vegetable matter so they are completely biodegradable”.
That his passion even extends to the takeaway containers is both endearing and probably a sign of the attention to detail that makes this business such a success.
I head back out onto the street, pizza box in hand with a smile on my face and change in my pocket from a tenner. It’s safe to say G Bros. Pizza definitely hits the spot.
G Bros. Pizza, 2B High Street, Easton, Bristol, BS5 6DL
Read more: An evening with the Pizza Crew