The Famous Pint Pot was originally an inn called the Locomotive and once brewed its own beer on the premises. An old advertisement for malt and hops merchant, G.Cummings, of the Spa in Gloucester lists 19 city pubs of which he supplied materials for home-brewed beer. Other pubs on the list included the New Inn (Englands Glory) in London Road and the Pelican Inn.
The pub is now located on the busy Bruton Way, a constant stream of cars, vans and buses passing by. Asda supermarket car park is opposite. This bustling urban scene was completely different 50 years or so when the aptly named Locomotive Inn (the address was then 5 Cambridge Street) overlooked the Midland Railway lines, with Gloucester Eastgate Street station on the site of the supermarket. Gloucester Eastgate Station officially closed on 1st December 1975, with the last full day of operation a few days before on 29th November.
On closure of Eastgate Station and the subsequent redevelopment of the area, the railway association had gone. Upon refurbishment in the late 1970’s the pub was relaunched as the Famous Pint Pot, a ‘free house’ becoming one of Gloucester’s first dedicated real ale pubs.
A comprehensive refurbishment took place in the autumn of 1988 when three former residential units in Bruton Way adjoining the Famous Pint Pot were added to the pub. The project was undertaken by owners Barry Hurley and Alan Dee, directors of Places Trading Ltd. At that time Places Trading also owned the Brunswick and Welsh Harp in the city and the Three Oaks in Matson. During the re-construction by Barry and Alan an old well was discovered which necessitated digging down over three metres. The new-look extended Famous Pint Pot opened to the public on Thursday 31st November 1988. An advertisement feature in the ‘Citizen’ noted that the pub had been ‘repainted and decorated throughout, and has a comfortable feel to it, and with four open fireplaces, is a warm a convivial place to be on a cold winter’s day.’
The 1996 edition of ‘Real Ale in Gloucestershire’ (Gloucestershire CAMRA) described the interior décor as ‘false beams and rough plaster throughout creates ‘Olde Worlde’ appearance enhanced by old advertising signs and displays of cigarette cards etc.’ The site of the adjacent Midland Chambers building was cleared and transformed into a beer garden. Barry Hurley told the ‘Citizen’; “We wanted to provide a relaxing area in which our customers could unwind.”
In February 1998 an application was submitted to Gloucester City Council for a ‘two-storey pub and restaurant next to the Famous Pint Pot’ Barry Hurley of Places Trading said; “It would be a café-bar along the same lines of Chicago Rock Café [in Brunswick Street] and we would be applying for a late licence. It would be two pubs here though, with the traditional Famous Pint Pot and the new café-bar operation next door.” He added, “It would be aimed at both the young and not-so-young and it’s so we can move with the modern times.”
An application for a provisional licence for a proposed new night club adjoining the Famous Pint Pot was submitted to Gloucester City Council in June 2001. The proposed venue was ‘to use the new two-storey building for public music and dancing’ and the requested licensing hours were 12 noon to 3.00am daily for approximately 1600 people. The night club at the site of the former Midland Chambers at 62 Bruton Way was to be called Interaction. The development was approved by the council’s licencing committee, coinciding with the opening of the Council’s new Leisure Centre thus creating a ‘significant leisure and entertainment in the city.’ GL1 opened in August 2002. The local police were less enthusiastic claiming that the new club would “increase the potential for disorder in the city” if the 3.00am closing time was granted.
The Famous Pint Pot was also refurbished in 2002, reopening to the public on Wednesday 13th August. The Mayor of Gloucester at the time, Pam Tracey, officiated the re-opening of the Famous Pint Pot. The pub was redesigned to keep the traditional look of the building, the bar was moved further back and the toilets were repositioned to create more space. To make room for the new nightclub the old pool room was removed. The sports screen was also removed in order to make the pub more appealing to women. A new menu was also introduced with ‘a wide selection of food including sausage, egg and chips for £2.99, ‘sizzling’ mixed grill for £3.99 and a vegetable and cheese country bake for £2.99.’ Not everyone was impressed with the enlarged pub, the Civic Trust described the design as a “hotch-potch of disparate elevations and very disappointing.”
Interaction night club opened for business on Friday 1st November 2002. The construction and transformation into a state-of-the-art entertainment venue cost £2.5 million. It featured two separate dance floors, catering up to 1,250 people and music was played through an impressive 50,000 watt speaker system. (see Interaction for more details). The police warnings that the club had the potential for disorder in the city came to fruition in September 2005 when a ten people, including club staff, were arrested after a mass brawl on the premises. At a hearing of the licensing magistrates a final warning was issued. The licensing officer said: “In licensing terms the staff concerned reacted in such a manner that their fitness to be involved in the management or running of the premises has been called into question”.
The night club had a change of image to Registry and Elevation and had improved CCTV installed. However, the premises were up for sale on the specialist Fleurets property website in May 2013 for £750,000. A planning application was submitted to Gloucester City Council to convert the building into flats.
In October 2017 the Famous Pint Pot had been taken over by new owners and the pub was shut pending refurbishment, with no indication on when it would re-open. The positive news was that the new owners assured that there would be no job losses. However, concern was raised in June 2019 when a planning application was submitted for ‘permission to allow changes to internal layout’. Although there was no indication of change of use, the application detailed the addition of at least 23 residential units with the address specified as 74 Bruton Way (The Famous Pint Pot). The application was granted.
Thankfully, after two years of languishing, the newly branded Famous Pint Pot Café and Bar opened for business again on Friday 20th December 2019. It was transformed into a child friendly café and essentially a gin bar – a far cry from its days as a traditional real ale pub – and offered breakfasts from 9 am. The official reopening took place on 13th March 2020, ironically coinciding with the unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic that compulsory closed all licensed premises in the UK.
In March 2022 it was announced that the Famous Pint Pot was to close and become a Thai Restaurant.
A West Country Ales ‘Best in the West’ ceramic plaque graced the outside of the original building that was the Locomotive Inn. Hopefully, it has survived.
Landlords at the Locomotive Inn / Famous Pint Pot include:
1879,1881 Thomas Bendall (Locomotive Inn)
1893, 1906 A.W. Gough (Locomotive Inn)
1936,1939 W. Broughton (Locomotive Inn)
1988,2002 Keith Reynolds (Manager – The Famous Pint Pot)
2021 (December) Mike Porter