Pub of the week: Smoke & Mirrors

7 11 2012

Denmark Street has always been a curious part of what Bristol city centre has to offer. Only visited by most when spat out of the back of the Hippodrome after a show, it is a ragtag collection of cheap and cheerful restaurants, pubs, and seedier establishments.

Denmark Street also has a surprisingly good cafe in Espirito and Harvey’s Cellars, which is still soldiering on despite the dual departure of both head chef and chief cocktail shaker to La Tomatina.

Smoke & Mirrors is the newest addition to this most curious of Bristol thoroughfares. Sandwiched between a fish and chip shop and tattoo removal studio, it is a new pub from the owner of Illusions on the Triangle and has a 50-seat theatre where magic shows are held on the last Thursday of the month.

Like Denmark Street itself, Smoke and Mirrors, in what used to be the Bunch of Grapes pub, is a strange place. On Monday night when I visited it was like stepping back in time, with Dido on the stereo. I did not take my jacket off as the heating was broken, but the heat was provided by the two staff on duty having an almighty row.

Butcombe and Tribute are the two ales on tap, with an altogether uninspiring collection of other drinks. On a raised stage area near the front door is a miniature white Chase grand piano, lending a façade of glamour to a curious new pub on this most curious of Bristol streets.

Smoke & Mirrors, 8 Denmark Street, Bristol, BS1 5DQ. 07974 005280.



One response

7 11 2012
Jon Crocker

I’m hoping OISE Bristol doesn’t class as one of the seedier establishments…..
Denmark Street is great and in some ways reminds me of a typical West End side street with its mix of businesses and people.

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