Grupo Lounge opens in Westbury-on-Trym

5 02 2013

The bright blue of Blockbuster on Canford Lane in Westbury-on-Trym has been replaced with the bright yellow sign of Grupo Lounge, the 25th in Bristol’s ever-expanding Loungers chain, but surprisingly the first to open in its home city since Banco Lounge in Totterdown in 2006.

Grupo Lounge Westbury-on-Trym

The stained glass windows at the front of Grupo Lounge give the impression that this was once a pub rather than a video rental shop.

Inside, lamp shades hang not in ones but fours. That homely feel at the front, with old paintings and photographs covering the walls, changes to exposed air ducts towards the bar and kitchen on the ground floor, with one wall a collage of reclaimed wood.

Grupo Lounge downstairs

All the familiar Lounge touches are here, from the board games to the mismatched furniture, in a new venture which when I visited on Friday afternoon was already well populated by Westbury-on-Trym locals thrilled to have this in their neighbourhood.

At 3.30pm, I counted seven prams (including one containing the sleeping form of my own daughter). There were also a few children enjoying a milkshake or babyccino after school, and a few of those ladies who lunch.

A Lounge means different things to different people, from a cafe to a bar to a replacement pub. And that’s what defines the success of this anti-chain chain.

For those treating it like a pub, there is Toga Man, Bath Ales Dark Side and Estrella among the drinks on tap.

As card purchases have to be over a fiver, I was unfortunately compelled to sample both the chocolate muffin and the chocolate tiffin as a talented calligrapher wrote the names of the sweet-toothed treats on glass jars and display cabinets on the bar.

Grupo Lounge upstairs

Upstairs, there is more seating and also a large balcony on what used to be an inaccessible flat roof above the old Blockbuster, overlooking the aptly named for this month Valentines Meats.

The balcony is sure to be a sun trap in the summer, and rather blows Coffee#1’s small bit of pavement just down the road out of the water.

Grupo Lounge already has the feel that it has always been here in Westbury-on-Trym. The Bristol area will not have to wait long for its next Lounge either. As Grupo was officially opening last week, the floor was being put down in Impero in Portishead, due to open next month.

Grupo Lounge balcony

Grupo Lounge, 8 Canford Lane, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3DH. 0117 950 0279.

Website: www.thelounges.co.uk/grupo-lounge
Twitter: @Grupo_Lounge


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4 responses

5 02 2013
Mike T.

Tried it last night for the first time , being a WOT resident for many years. Sadly the only real ale was unavailable & the cider was not the real thing. Most amazing though – told we could not use the balcony after 7.00pm – I had gone out for a ciggie & the waitress told me that a “neighbour had phoned to complain that somebody was using the balcony ” !!! Decor is great though, and the staff very friendly so will try it again during the day time.

7 02 2013
john

looks very nice keep it that way Alex !

10 02 2013
Rob Wendle

Food is never up to scratch. Overpriced….

27 02 2013
James

Had lunch there on Wednesday my food came out burnt so I told the staff they went back to the window where I could see and here the chef saying my food was not burnt then said i was talking bullshit when I ask to talk to the manager that I could here this he said I was lying I would tell you all not to go there

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