An application was submitted by James Uriah Godsell in 1902 for “the provisional grant of a new license to sell intoxicating liquors in a new house and premises to be called the Bristol Restaurant on the corner of Lysons Avenue, adjoining the Bristol Road.”
The Bristol is a three storey hotel in distinctive style with small tower and rounded arch with balcony. The front of the hotel features a central rounded arch with balcony. It may have been named after HMS Bristol as there is a carved wooden figurehead over the front porch.
A photograph taken in the 1920’s shows a bus negotiating its way through floodwater in Bristol Road with the Bristol Hotel in the background with painted Godsell’s sign.
In the 1960’s the Bristol Hotel was a popular music venue. In his book ‘A Gloucester Boy’ written by Cliff Ballinger in 1999 he wrote: “The club took the whole of the first floor of the Bristol Hotel. They had some great acts featured there- mostly local bands but sometimes a bigger name, like Jimmy Cliff, the Jamaican singer who later had a hit with ‘Wonderful World, Beautiful People.’ He had a great stage presence and was a big favourite.”
The Bristol Hotel became a popular sports venue bar. In 1998 and 2002, during the World Cup, landlord Phil Curtis turned the inside of the bar into a football pitch by laying real turf and installing four spotlights at each corner. Phil had a nightmare in August 1997 when flash flooding caused raw sewage and five feet of water to fill the cellar. Phil had to throw away £20,000 worth of contaminated booze down the drain and lost his precious collection of rugby memorabilia that he stored in the cellar. There are reputed to be two resident ghosts on the premises, affectionately referred to as Waldorf and Statler.
The Bristol Hotel has closed and the building is now a restaurant.
Landlords at the Bristol Hotel include:
1893, 1906 Leonard Sidney Freeman
1919 Leonard Jas. Adolf Ramstedt
1927 James Baker
1936,1939 Gilbert E. Denner
1957 R.H. Gage
1960’s Danny Knight
1978 Jean & Dan Knight
1993-2002 Phil Curtis
2004 Nick Cassidy and Christine Jordan
2005 John and Joanne Hayward