Big Apple influences new speakeasy bar

April 26 2014

INSPIRED by the prohibition era is new kid on the block, The Bootlegger - a family-run cocktail bar and kitchen boasting American-themed food and drink, 1920s music and a high-end service.

INSPIRED by the prohibition era is new kid on the block, The Bootlegger - a family-run cocktail bar and kitchen boasting American-themed food and drink, 1920s music and a high-end service.
Nestled by the arches on Cheltenham Road, Bishopston's latest addition received an overwhelming turnout at its launch on April 17.
The Bootlegger was set up by brothers Gary and Lee Miller, Michala (Gary's wife), and Richard Naden. With Lee's 25-years experience working in restaurants and bars across the globe, Gary and Richard's 12-years experience in business management, and Michala's experience teaching business and economics, the team wanted to establish something unique and poignant in the area.
Having lived in New York for four years, Lee recognised that there was a growing taste for prohibition, speakeasy-type bars, and felt that something similar would work well in Bristol.
During the day, customers can feast on an array of American-inspired dishes, and in the evening, be taken back in time with music resonating the 1920s.
Music includes swing, jazz, blues and rock ‘n’ roll, with live performances three nights a week from local musicians.
Gary said: "We've always dreamed about opening our own place. We wanted to create something that's accessible to the local community and focus on using local independent suppliers, which is one of the reasons we chose this road.
"We aim to source the majority of our food from surrounding traders, as well as using other services, such as Orca, who we used for our branding."
Secretive and rustic, its interior reflects an era of time which saw speakeasies - illegal boozing bars - rise in popularity due to a nationwide ban across America on the sale, production, importation, and transportation of alcoholic beverages.
Gary added: "On a visit to America, we were blown over by the high level of customer service we received, and we wanted The Bootlegger to provide something very similar.
"We don't just want to be known for great food and live music, we also want to be recognised for our high standard of service."

Dancers at Bristol Bootlegger