Sidney And Eden is a late night bar in the heart of Gloucester Road. Our hopes for its future will be an events space including Comedy, Live Music, Film and Community Events. Our Pizza kitchen is a work in progress and we'd love to re open earlier for Coffee and Cake.
We (Louis and Beth) took on 198 Gloucester Road August 1st and spent just over a month day and night decorating and building a bar just the two of us ready for our opening night on September 18th. Our bar is named after the middle names of our 2 children, we live a short walk away and are the owners of the popular bottle shop 'Bottles and Books'(which also has faced an ongoing exhausting year!).
Little Time Line of our first few months!
- Beginning of August we took over 198 after falling in love with the building and new it'd be the perfect venue for everything we have planned. We spent every possible minute and every penny of our savings at the bar endlessly painting, designing and Dressing the bar on a very tight budget!
- September 18th we opened our doors for the first time. We had a que and it was so exciting and felt like we could breathe for the first time all year! Although we had to put so many restrictions in place we proved to be very popular!
- Covid rules increased and we had to spend a lot of money to make sure we were abiding by the current laws. We also lost a lot of money by having to reduce our capacity by at least 50% and then eventually having to close downstairs so we could offer table service only - obviously we took a massive hit with this! We changed our business plan daily by this point as each day brought new rules including the 10pm curfew which we thought would be our biggest obstacle!
- During the time we were open we were busy every night and customers excited for what IS to come. Increased interest in our future events and plans were often talked about giving us hope for a successful business after Covid.
- There was talk of only being able to serve alcohol if you were a cafe and to be closed by 6pm so we rushed around trying to do what we could to keep the money coming in. We thought we should just get on with planning for the rest of the year - organising our popular impy fest and a Christmas market to name a few. We purchased a very expensive coffee machine which we certainly couldn't afford at the time but with the new rules looming felt desperate to get sorted quickly. 2 days after the installation.....
- Lockdown 2 hit! What a kick in the teeth. We'd done so much to prepare for the other rules and money spent which we couldn't afford at the time. It was announced that we wouldn't be out of lockdown until December 2nd so then we really started to panic as it was such a long time not to be earning anything. Just to add to the mountain of worries we were too new to be eligable for furlough! Our staff and ourselves couldn't and cannot receive a thing!
- Luckily we are still able to operate as a takeaway service so have managed to keep the taps fresh and have made just about enough to keep 1 member of staff in work and pay rent. We have made hours at our shop to keep the other staff in work because none of us can claim furlough. We are just about able to pay this but cannot continue to do so without some help.
- Tier 3 happened which felt a bit like drowning. What was supposed to be our biggest month financially has been shattered. We've ran around completely bonkers trying to find new ways to earn a bit more - Mulled Wine, Cider, Coffees, Hot chocolate, Cakes, Pop up shop etc. We had so many fun plans for this season for everyone as well so feels really sad seeing our empty bar. We appreciate the community support so much with our little takeaway service and hope its added some Christmas cheer to your year!
- Were stuck in limbo not knowing whether Bristol will be in tier 2 on the 16th. Whilst we pray we are the uncertainty of more rules is a bit nerve wracking and trying to restock the bar with £0 behind us.
Whilst we knew we'd be in for a rocky ride nothing could have prepared us for the journey since opening. With a second lockdown, curfews and a million other obstacles we've finally reached a point where we'd appreciate some community help. We've tried so hard to keep this going, we've done everything we possibly could to look after our staff and we don't want to have to let them go just because we can't afford it. We want to keep the amazing beers coming, to put on awesome events, have the best place to socialise, be a part of the community and because we've worked way too hard for this to end but we cannot do this without your help.
We know we have a successful business and we would love to start 2021 off with a bang rather than more debt and have a little bit of hope for our family after a seriously difficult year.
So please if you could spare anything we would be so so grateful and promise to make sure every visit to Sidney and Eden will be the best!
Merry Christmas from Louis, Beth, Jonah, Penelope, Ruby the Pup and our S&E team!