BRISTOL, UK – For all of you cat fans, there’s a place in Bristol that you want to check out. It’s a pub in which you may have a cat sit in your lap while you drink a beer. You may want to call it a cat pub, but according to the owner it’s not a cat pub – it’s just a pub that happens to have cats in it… And fifteen cats to be exact.
It is called “Bag of Nails” and it’s located in the Howells area of the city. The owner, Luke Daniels, says the pub use to have 24 cats but at some time it was just too much, so they gave some away.
All of the cats, except one, were actually born in the pub. They are free to come and go when they want but mostly they like cuddling with the clients. People who visit the pub love them, although you may have a few allergic clients that need to go.
The cats lay on the boxes on the bar, on the lap of the clients, looking for some sun near the windows or on the tables next to the beers. And even though the RSPCA (Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty of Animals) have raised some concerns whether the situation is ideal for the cats, they are free to retrieve upstairs if they feel it’s too much.
The problems the RSPCA sees, is that cats might not like being handled by strangers and that someone may be giving them alcohol, which can poison them. But Daniels claims they haven’t even been in to see the place; cats may sniff the alcohol but they don’t drink it and it’s not the kind of pub with drunk people staggering around so he is not concerned about the cats’ welfare. “The cats can come and go as they please, so if they don’t like it in the bar they don’t have to go in there […] They are healthy and they are not stressed.”
Bag of Nails have received a lot of media attention because of the cats, but besides them there is more to this pub that makes it a great place to visit. They have a current range of 35 world beers, ales and ciders and they are hoping to increase this to a selection of 99 within the next year. They don’t sell draught lagers, fizzy, ciders or Guinness. Their music policy is vinyl only, from Daniel’s own record collection. Clients are welcome to bring their own vinyl collection and if it is suitable, they may even play it in the pub.
Daniel describes it like this: “So many pubs are sterile and boring and look the same. I thought, I want my pub to be different. So I filled it with toys, I filled it with music, I filled it with people and I filled it with cats”.
Do you feel like visiting it? This is the address: 141 St George Road, Hotwells, BS1 5UW and this is the telephone: 01179292511. In the meantime you can at least check their Facebook page put this place on top of the list of places to go next time you are in Bristol.