A pair of friends who met on the first day of their Navy training have opened Bristol’s newest micropub.
Snuffy Jack’s promises to serve mainly cask ales, promote conversation, shun all forms of electronic entertainment and dabble in traditional pub snacks.
Located in a former stationers opposite Fishponds Park, Snuffy Jack’s has become the third micropub in Bristol after the Drapers Arms on Gloucester Road and Chums on Chandos Road in Redland.
“Micropubs are just great places for meeting people,” said co-owner Johnny Fallon as the first customers of the day began to arrive soon after 5pm on a recent afternoon.
“Bristol is an ideal location for us with its strong emphasis on independent businesses, and especially here in Fishponds which is rapidly changing for the better.”
Snuffy Jack’s is named after a well known local character from the nineteenth century: a head miller whose smock was always covered in snuff.
Arbor Ales once brewed a beer with the same name and might even resurrect it especially for the new micropub.
Arbor are just one of the local breweries whose wares will be served at Snuffy Jack’s, which has a maximum of eight gravity-fed cask ales from its stillage through which you can see the beers.
In an unusual visual touch, co-owner Dave Sibley places each beer in small Kilner jars so drinkers can see the colour of the beer they are choosing, with all pints costing £3.50 and all halves £1.80.
Old pump clips are displayed near the front door, with framed black and white photographs of Bristol on the opposite wall.
“The difficulty has been transforming a shop into a cosy pub with a snug feel,” explains Johnny, originally from Manchester, who only left the Navy last year.
“Not everybody is going to like every beer we put on, “admits Dave. “But we’ll always have a variety and there will hopefully always be something for everyone.”
Johnny and Dave hope to attract punters from near and far, with two friends travelling to the pub on its opening day from Weston-super-Mare commenting that before Snuffy Jack’s there was nowhere this side of Bristol serving a decent pint of real ale.
The number 17 bus which stops nearby can also take micropub fans almost door to the door to the Drapers Arms, whose owners have been more than happy to give help and advice to Johnny and Dave as they set up Snuffy Jack’s.
Beer is briefly replaced with a taste of gin from the East London Liquor Company as a brand representative comes in to talk about the drink, with Johnny’s wife Celia propping up the bar made out of pallet wood and scaffolding planks sourced from a neighbour who works in the building trade.
When the pub is closed on Mondays, Johnny and Dave hope local community groups will be able to use the space, which can also host special events.
“I had never even heard of micropubs until last year,” Johnny admits. “But once Dave and I got the idea in our heads, from the experience of being in other micropubs across the UK, we wouldn’t have wanted to open anything else.”
Snuffy Jack’s, 800 Fishponds Road, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 3TE
0117 965 5158
Read more: 52 photos of historic Fishponds