Pub to grace Gloucester Road

June 27 2014

THE team behind the acclaimed Zazu’s Kitchen are opening their second pub in three months.

THE team behind the acclaimed Zazu’s Kitchen are opening their second pub in three months.

The former Robin Hood's Retreat on Gloucester Road is undergoing an extensive refurbishment, and is scheduled to open its doors as 'The Grace' on July 4.

The £125,000 refit includes an extension and redecoration of the front bar, a refitted kitchen, a new toilet block and improvements to the rear patio.

Aimed specifically at "grown-ups", The Grace will offer a tapas-style menu, alongside a wide range of real ales, craft beers, cocktails and a quality wine list.

Diners can expect a menu boasting small dishes with Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and British influences.

Besides the tapas-style menu, there is a selection of bar snacks - including soft boiled duck egg and iberico fat soldiers, and griddled halloumi and harissa tapenade - as well as pizzettas.

The Grace also intends to introduce Sunday roasts which have become a popular feature at their sister pub in Easton, The Greenbank.

Wilf Penfold - who has worked in many of the city's acclaimed kitchens, including The Albion, the Kensington Arms and Berwick Lodge - has been assigned as head chef.
He said: "Zazu’s has built a growing reputation for producing clean, fresh dishes which pack flavour and The Grace will be no different.

"The idea will be to cater for friends who want to enjoy a drink in a lovely, sociable setting whilst grabbing a decent bite to eat as well. It can be a few nibbles or several small plates – whatever suits the mood."

Chicken and girolle mushroom skewers in tarrogan and truffle mayo; oxtail croquettes with parsley, shallots and capers; and courgettes, chilli, mint and smoked ricotta are just a few of the dishes which will be on offer.

The new-look garden, including ample seating, will have plants, scented climbers, fairy lights and lanterns to create an atmospheric haven off the busy Gloucester Road.

The Grace is the team's fourth venture, with a Zazu's kitchen located nearby on Gloucester Road, as well as on North Street, and The Greenbank in Easton.

The business was launched by three successful Bristol entrepreneurs: James Savage, Dougal Templeton, and Toby Bywater.

James said: "The name of the pub - The Grace - hints at a lot of things. It's a little bit of a nod in the direction of W G Grace, the Bristol born cricketer, but there is also a lot of meaning behind the word 'grace', which we felt was in-fitting with the pub."

Toby added: "Zazu's is all about creating quality local neighbourhood amenities. We work hard to create an atmosphere which is welcoming, relaxed and pleasing on the palette and pocket.

"The pub had got a little run down and unloved as of late but we are confident customers will enjoy the fresh look and improved drink and food offering.

"It also seems appropriate to be opening on Independence Day as we pride ourselves on being an independent set-up. Gloucester Road boasts a lot of independent retailers and we are pleased to be offering something that little bit different for the area, as a part of the mix."

James Savage and Dougal Templeton in The Grace's garden