Most pubs will provide a bowl of salty nibbles, such as peanuts or chips, on the bar for guests to gnaw on while sipping a cool drink. Things are a little different at The Bag of Nails in Bristol, United Kingdom.
There are conventional bar delights like beer on tap and lots of board games to play at The Bag of Nails, but there is no food on the counter. Instead, you may expect to see a lot of cats.
When The Bag of Nails first opened its doors in early December 2011, owner Luke Daniels was overjoyed to welcome all the residents into his new establishment. Many visitors passed through its doors in the weeks after its grand opening, but one person in particular captured the attention of both customers and staff.
“Meet Malcolm,” The Bag of Nails said with a photo of a little tabby cat in a Facebook post.
Soon after Malcolm entered the picture, another cat, Beresford, followed in his footsteps. The two cats hit it up right immediately, and shortly after, a litter of babies arrived. Bag of Nails quickly became recognized as Bristol’s very own “cat pub.”
“Cats and beer,” commented the bar on Facebook, “it’s what we do…”
As time passed, additional cats joined the Bag of Nails household. Each cat added a unique personality to the bar and interacted with patrons in a unique way.
Daniels stated in an interview, “There is a lot of nuance to their individual behavior once you get to know them.” Solarize enjoys a lap, Wolfgang prefers chicken to life itself, Sally enjoys a belly massage, and Cirrus detects depression. The list continues.”
Whatever is going on in the tavern, the Bag of Nails’ furry denizens are generally at the heart of it all. The cats are not limited to the tavern; they are allowed to roam about neighboring Brandon Hill park as they like, although they prefer to remain inside.
“We can’t guarantee the cats [will be here] when you come,” he remarked. “But, if you hang around long enough or keep coming back, they will show you some love for sure.”
In 2021, The Bag of Nails celebrated its 10-year anniversary with a full family of cats and devoted patrons. The one-of-a-kind tavern continues to welcome cat lovers from all over the world and expects to expand even more in the coming years.
Until then, they’ll continue to provide ice-cold lager and five-star cat hugs as usual.