With only a small blackboard pointing in the direction of the alley down which Junkyard is located, sandwiched between the Ibis and The Fletcher Gate Art Gallery, it could be easily missed if you didn’t know it existed.
Walking in to what they describe themselves as a ‘combination of a laid back North California bar and eatery with a specialist craft beer shop jammed full of bottles’, Junkyard oozes cool. It’s not an intimidating kind of cool, but rather a welcoming sort, inviting anyone in who enjoys a great beer and great food. The 140 capacity venue has a minimal and stripped-back look about it, with bare brick wall features and pine tables, and its fairy-light covered backyard is a bit of an oasis in the middle of a busy city.
Behind the bar, the 15 identical taps catch your attention, each of them corresponding to a different beer written up on the blackboard above it. Its 15 brewers include 6 house beers, 5 rotational beers and four guest beers, the very best of American, British and European craft keg brews. And the staff know their stuff, too. I sheepishly asked a ‘Junky’ (their name for the bartenders) for the lightest beer and he offered me the choice of three with detailed explanations for each. I chose their ‘Blonde Lager’ and thoroughly enjoyed it. Junkyard’s Bottle Shop also features over 100 beers to drink in or take away.
Continuing the theme, their ‘Junkfood’ menu offers brunch until midday, and graze plates or, if you’re hungry, more hearty plates from the same time until late. This place has also been nominated for and won numerous food and drink awards, such as The Observer Food Monthly Awards; the Guardian’s Best Places and The Times’ 25 Coolest Restaurants in the U.K.
12 Bridlesmith Walk,
Photo by Bethan Donaghey