Palace Hotel, Bristol
Location within Bristol
|Town or city||Bristol|
The Palace Hotel (also known as The Gin Palace") is a historic public house situated on West Street, Old Market, Bristol. It is a grade II listed building. Its exterior ornamentation includes two Assyrian-style hermai.
The Palace Hotel was built in 1869 for the wine and spirits merchant, John Sharp. At that time it was thought that a new Great Western Railway main station was going to be established nearby. For that reason it was to have been called the Railway Hotel – but Brunel's great Temple Meads Station was built half a mile south, so trade was less than expected. A smaller Midland Railway terminus, St Philip's Station, was opened nearby but this was closed in 1953 and subsequently demolished.
The bar has a sloping floor.
In 2000 Thomas Brooman CBE, co-founder and managing director of WOMAD (World of Music and Dance), took charge of the Palace. He spent much time and money bringing the place up to the high standard for which it is worthy but after 5 years decided it was time to move on. The Palace finally closed its doors in mid-2005 and was sold. The following year the new owner submitted a planning application to change its use to an estate agent's office. In August 2008, further applications were pending, with vigorous counter moves to restore it to a pub. In November 2008 it was announced that the owners of the Bristol Bear Bar across the road had bought the lease and, following a period of decoration in which maintenance of the pub's original features was a priority, it is now up and running as a pub. It became known as a gay venue.
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