Save The Rhubarb Tavern, Bristol

by The Rhubarb Tavern in Bristol, Bristol City, United Kingdom

Not quite
Unfortunately this project was not successful.

We're trying to save The Rhubarb Tavern and bring it back as a pub and community hub for Barton Hill & new music & arts venue for Bristol.

by The Rhubarb Tavern in Bristol, Bristol City, United Kingdom

We are trying to raise enough money to save The Rhubarb Tavern and bring it back as a pub and community hub for Barton Hill & new music and arts venue for Bristol. Thanks to the hard work of locals, the historic Rhubarb Tavern has been saved from developers, and now we want to take it on, fix it up and re-open it for the community.

Our aim is to run the pub as a not-for-profit Community Interest Company and re-open it as a real “public house”, not just for drinking but a space the whole community can use - a place for music, community groups, workshops and affordable food as well as all the things we love about pubs.

To make this goal a reality we need your help to raise the money needed to renovate the damaged building and kit out the inside ready for our first pints to be pulled. 


Who are we?

We are Tara Clerkin and Sunny Paradisos - we’re a couple and we’ve lived in Bristol for the past 15 years. As well as spending lots of time propping up the bar in our favourite local watering holes we also spend many evenings performing in bars, pubs and clubs across the UK & Europe in our band Tara Clerkin Trio.

We’ve played in almost every kind of establishment there is, and it was seeing these places while on tour that really inspired us to think about what was missing from the pub scene in Bristol & the creative sector in the UK. We want to combine our favourite parts of the traditional British boozer with the community-centred creative spaces we’ve found in bars and venues abroad.

As well as being professional musicians we have lots of other skills that will come in handy; Tara has worked in kitchens for many years and she’s a mean cook. She’s also a talented potter and has plans to open a pottery studio at The Rhubarb. Sunny has a huge amount of experience in building work & gardening, which is going to come in handy given the state of the place! We also have lots of friends to help us; folks from Barton Hill, friends in the music industry and hospitality veterans who will lend us a hand.

We’re not in this to get rich, by focusing on people rather than profit and creating a welcoming and accessible space we hope to bring people together, to share in fun, learning & mutual support.


What is The Rhubarb?

The Rhubarb Tavern is a beautiful old Victorian pub on Queen Ann Road in Barton Hill. The Rhubarb sadly shut its doors in 2020, and Barton Hill lost its last remaining pub. A group of dedicated regulars came together to create the “We <3 The Rhubarb Tavern” group. They have been working hard to get the building protected status so it couldn’t be developed and now, with their blessing, we want to take it on and make it a resource for the local community. 


What will The Rhubarb be?

A pub.

To start with, The Rhubarb Tavern will be a pub, as it has been for hundreds of years! This means drinks, both from local breweries and trusted household names, filled rolls, a pool table, darts teams, Sunday roasts, karaoke, pub quizzes, board games and everything else you’d expect from your local. All delivered as affordably as possible in a warm and welcoming environment. We want to preserve The Rhubarb Tavern and in doing so help to preserve a treasured and crucial part of British culture which is increasingly under threat from closure due to overdevelopment, rising costs & taxes and big brewery monopolies.

A music venue.

We are passionate about music and we plan to make The Rhubarb a world-class independent music venue. Using our connections and experience as a band we will host exciting contemporary musicians from the UK, Europe and beyond, providing an interesting and diverse musical programme for Bristol. And with the rooms and studio, we will be able to invite artists to come and stay for residencies at The Rhubarb, where they can write, record and perform for us, which will be a valuable resource and revenue stream for The Rhubarb. Alongside this, we will have plenty of local acts come and play, including aspiring and established local musicians, cover bands, DJs and discos. There will be something on our programme for everyone to enjoy.

A community space.

We are passionate about the idea of the pub as a ‘public house’, it’s where the name comes from after all! This means we want to create a space and environment where people from all walks of life feel comfortable and welcome, a home away from home, where we can provide something for everyone. We plan to host a variety of community groups; from faith groups & sports teams to hobbies and interest groups. As well as this we’ll have an extensive programme of workshops and lessons; we can teach musical instruments and production, pottery, gardening, cookery, languages and sports to name a few, and we plan to expand the scope of this as people from the community ask for and offer their skills and interests. And everything we offer will have affordable options, with subsidised and free options for those on low income wherever possible. We hope to never make anyone feel unwelcome for lack of funds.


What do we need to do?

As you can see from our video the pub is in need of extensive repairs inside. We’ve reached an agreement with the owners that if we can raise enough money to decorate and furnish it as well as the deposit, then they will fix the roof, plumbing, heating and electrics before we move in. That still leaves the boarding, plastering and redecorating, replacing floorboards and carpets, clearing the garden and any other renovation and maintenance. Next of course we’ll need to install the bar with all the tables, chairs, pint glasses and kitchen bits that make a working pub. Then we can get on to equipping The Rhubarb with music facilities, a working kitchen and any other facilities we can provide.

We know this sounds a bit daunting but we have a lot of friends with experience in the industry who will help us out, and by doing as much of the work as possible ourselves we will keep costs down. Still, rebuilding a pub isn’t cheap so we have decided to work in stages, so we can open as soon as possible and any income can go back into renovating the next area. If we manage to raise a lot of money with our crowd funder we can do this sooner, but either way, it will still happen.

With this in mind, we have a series of targets, the first one is the bare minimum we’d need to get The Rhubarb fixed up and in working order, and beyond that we will be able to keep expanding and making it better! Also, it’s worth noting that this is an all-or-nothing campaign so if we don’t reach our target your pledge will be refunded in full.

The funding tiers are as follows:

  • Target 1 - £35,000. If we raise this amount we’ll be able to open the main pub & bar area, which will include space for community functions, standard pub amenities and a basic set-up for live music. Food will be provided by pop-ups/guest kitchens as well as some bar snacks. The rooms upstairs will be used as basic function rooms, available for hire and for community activities.
  • Target 2 - £45,000. For this amount, we’ll be able to set up basic studio facilities, namely the music and pottery studios. With these, we can start to provide workshops and lessons, which will create more revenue streams while allowing us to provide cheap teaching and mentoring to young people and families from Barton Hill and wider Bristol.
  • Target 3 - £55,000. At this point we’ll be able to furnish a more extensive kitchen, allowing us to expand our food offerings. We’ll also be able to further improve the garden and children’s play facilities. We’ll also turn one of the upstairs rooms into a bedroom. This will allow us to host touring bands and offer residencies to musicians, potters etc. which should bring in further funding for The Rhubarb.
  • Target 4 - £55,000+ Improved amenities all around; better sound system for live music, better studio facilities, more beers on tap. We also have plans for some field trips and extra-curricular activities once we have some funds available. The more funds we raise the bigger and better The Rhubarb will be!


We have big plans for The Rhubarb but we can’t do it without you! Anything you can offer will be very welcome, we know these are big numbers but the generosity of everyone will all add up, every little helps. So if this feels like something you’d like to support please don't hesitate to chip in anything you can afford. 

We will have more information coming out about our ideas for workshops, our plans for the Community Interest Company as well as our values and why we feel so passionately about doing this. Plus more information about The Rhubarb Tavern & its history, all available on our website as the campaign progresses.

Check our website -



This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£40 or more

0 of 200 claimed

Turbo Island tshirt

An exclusive Rhubarb Tavern tshirt designed by Turbo Island

£12 or more

0 of 19 claimed

Ticket to Tara Clerkin Trio EP Launch

We're playing at Strange Brew on Sunday the 5th of November to celebrate the release of our EP 'On The Turning Ground'. With support from Birthmark. We also have tickets for sale on Headfirst, but if you buy them here before our deadline then you can help us reach our target in time. All other proceeds from the night will be added to the total after the Crowdfunder deadline.

£25 or more

0 of 100 claimed

Supporters BBQ

Come join us for a pre-opening celebration. Have a look around the place, listen to some tunes, meet your fellow supporters and munch some barbie scran!

£50 or more

0 of 50 claimed

I saved The Rhubarb and all I got was this...

...lousy mug. Grab a 'Save The Rhubarb' mug, handmade by Tara (includes UK postage, or more for abroad).

£60 or more

0 of 50 claimed

Pottery workshop

Join us at one of our group pottery workshops, where you will hand build and decorate your own mug.

£60 or more

Music lesson

Come and do a taster lesson or brush up your musical skills; choose from range of instruments, hardware or DJ decks.

£100 or more

0 of 20 claimed

Pottery throwing lesson

Have a one on one throwing lesson in our pottery studio. Make up to three pots which will be glazed and fired for you.

£600 or more

0 of 15 claimed


Guest list to all ticketed gigs at The Rhubarb for the first year!

£10,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Pour one out for The Rhubarb

Are you a billionaire/celebrity/lottery winner? Do you have have loadsamoney!? For chipping in a cool 10k you could gain the status of LOCAL LEGEND, pouring the first pint at The Rhubarbs opening night to a hail of confetti and jubilant cheers! Then you get to drink it of course, and hopefully a few more, surrounded by the happy and grateful patrons of this lovely pub.

Got an idea like this?

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