First Impressions : The Urban Standard, Gloucester Road, Bristol

*this photo sourced from The Urban Standard here

A new bar & restaurant opening locally to me is cause for some excitement in my book. So when The Urban Standard opened its doors to the public last Friday night I paid it a visit as soon as I was able, which was the following Sunday afternoon.

First things first the place looks great! The décor throughout is in keeping with the oh-so-trendy vintage industrial aesthetic - exposed brick work, re-purposed school chairs & stools, black & white checked floor, a good mix of metal & wood and plenty of carbon filament light bulbs. I'm not sure if it was because of its name or that I've wasted spent far to much time on Pinterest lusting after vintage industrial interiors but this is exactly what I was expecting in terms of the look and feel of the place; but I'm not about to criticise somewhere for looking just as cool as I was expecting it would. There were however also a number of more unexpected design elements, for example, on display in a caged area next to the bar are beer barrels, tubes and various paraphernalia making a feature of the normally inner workings of a bar. Also there are thistle pattern tiles that run along the tops of the walls which seem to be a remnant from a time gone by - so of course I love that!
We were greeted by a very friendly bar-man who was more than happy to talk us through the drink options. Usually a pub with no ale on tap does not a happy boyfriend make, but after sampling a number of the craft beers on offer Will was satisfied with his choice of a Chimay beer and the Stanford Red cider did for me just fine. At £8.15 our two drinks weren't cheap, especially considering the Chimay was served in a Scooner so only 2/3 of a pint. However those price points seem to be increasingly the norm, especially in new trendy spots with specialist tipples on tap.
In keeping with the décor the design of the menu is excellent and perfectly up my street as lover of type font and the proud owner of a number of vintage typewriters. As well as looking lovely the menu reads very well with lots of variety and choice. There is a great selection of sandwiches and the salads sound amazing. There are dishes 'from the grill' and 'Standards' which include classics such as Fish Pie, Burger and Moules. There are also small plate options and we couldn't resist trying the Potted Crab, which came beautifully presented and was absolutely delicious. Top of my 'must try' list for our next visit is the Truffle Mac & Cheese and the Blacken Chicken Gumbo (hello!). As you can tell I'm pretty excited by this menu, I love its leaning towards Americana without feeling themed and quite frankly I would like to eat everything on offer!

So to summarise our first impressions: Overall I was pretty impressed but it's hard to tell if it would be somewhere we would regularly go for just drinks. It certainly felt more of a restaurant than a bar, but our visit was on a Sunday afternoon so we will have to go and soak up the Friday night vibes for comparison.  Although the drinks aren't the cheapest on the other hand the food seems to be really good value and if it all tastes as good as it sounds then I think we're on to a winner. I think The Urban Standard has all the ingredients to become another local favourite and when it come to independently run venues on Gloucester Road I say "the more, the merrier"!

The Urban Standard
35 Gloucester Road,
0117 9424341

@UStandardBris / Facebook

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