Bocabar steams ahead with fit-out of restaurant and bar ahead of opening at Finzels Reach

Posted on September 19, 2019

The team behind Bristol favourite Bocabar is forging ahead with the fit-out of its third restaurant and bar at Finzels Reach, which is set to become one of Bristol’s most exciting new social hotspots.

Bocabar, a Bristol favourite that is well-known for its Paintworks-based site, will be bringing breakfast, lunch and dinner, including a menu of 25 different stone-baked pizzas, gourmet burgers, sharing mezze plates and daily specials focusing on small, local suppliers and seasonal ingredients, to Finzels Reach this autumn.

Owners of Bocabar Mel and Paul Eavis, who started the business 15 years ago, said they expect the new venue will open in mid-November. Contractors started work on the fit-out of the interior earlier this month, with works on finishing the terrace area underway.

Bocabar has now announced the team that will be behind the new restaurant and bar. Head chef of its Paintworks venue, Jason McNeilly, will become the head chef at the Finzels Reach site too, with menu inspiration also coming from Matt Brooks, head chef of its Glastonbury venue.

Milton Howarth, who has worked at Bocabar for 10 years will be the manager, whilst Mel and Paul’s daughter, Tess Banks, who currently works at Paintworks, will become the assistant manager.

Bocabar has also shared its plans to have six-weekly exhibitions of local artwork at Finzels Reach.

Melissa Eavis said: “We’re so excited to be on site now at Finzels Reach getting everything ready for our opening this autumn. Our chefs are going to be working together to create something really special for our new venue, combining the ‘best bits’ of our Paintworks and Glastonbury restaurants to develop a truly unique menu. For us, it’s all about focusing on high quality produce and local suppliers, and we can’t wait to welcome people to our new venture very soon!”

Open seven days a week, Bocabar will offer a busy social, drinking and dining hub.  The inside will have an eclectic feel, combining a vintage and rustic look with a little bit of luxury. Expect velvet drapes in the doorways, vintage lamps and reclaimed wood and copper features. There will also be an ample, part-covered outside seating area, with 70 seat covers, accessed through bi-folding doors from the main restaurant and bar.

From cocktails to specialist gins, and from local craft beers to wines, Bocabar will offer something for everyone, catering for the growing number of office workers and residents who now work and live in the area, as well as those coming from across the city to relax in this new destination along the Floating Harbour.

Bocabar will be based on the ground floor of the historic Fermentation Buildings, beneath Channel 4, which is opening its new Bristol Creative Hub before Christmas The new Bocabar venue will open onto Hawkins Lane, the new walkway that runs through the heart of Finzels Reach, connecting to Castle Park and the city centre via the striking Castle Bridge.

The Fermentation Buildings are part of the rich brewing history at Finzels Reach, which has been home to several famous breweries over the years, most recently Courage Brewery before it closed in the 1990s.

Gavin Bridge, executive director at Cubex, the developer behind Finzels Reach, said: “We are so pleased with the fantastic response we’ve had so far to the growing Finzels Reach community and there are exciting plans in the pipeline to expand this thriving neighbourhood. It won’t be long now before we announce another addition to the emerging social scene at Finzels Reach too – so watch this space!”

By the end of the year, around 2,500 people will be living and working at Finzels Reach, a flourishing new community in the heart of Bristol, created by developer Cubex with funding from Palmer Capital. With high quality new homes, unique workspace, a hotel and leisure space plus a popular weekly food market, Finzels Reach is now an area transformed, having been previously closed off to the public for over 200 years.

With Spicer+Cole’s new café now open, Café Matariki and Pacific Yoga already well established, a popular weekly street food market and Left Handed Giant having opened a new brewpub and brewery this summer alongside Bristol Mission Pizza, the Finzels Reach neighbourhood is quickly becoming one of the city’s hottest new destinations.

Cubex has plans to continue the regeneration of Finzels Reach at the former headquarters site of Avon & Somerset Fire and Rescue located on the other side of Counterslip, opposite the existing site. Subject to planning, the site will be transformed into 297 new homes, including over 20% affordable housing, together with high quality offices for up to 1,100 people, supporting Bristol’s acute need for housing and its growing economy. Significant investment in improvements around the site, including new landscaping, pedestrian and cycle routes, will help create a more attractive area and foster a strong sense of community.

Located less than a 10-minute walk from Temple Meads station, the striking s-shaped Castle Bridge provides easy access from Finzels Reach to the popular shopping areas of Cabot Circus, Quakers Friars and St Nicholas Market. It is close to an array of bus routes and ferries can be boarded from nearby Castle Park.

For information about the leisure space available alongside Hawkins Lane, which runs through the heart of Finzels Reach, contact Insight Retail on 0117 930 4536.