Bristol's Lockside cafe featured in Only Fools and Horses closes after 60 years

Credit: BPM Media

A popular Bristol cafe which was featured in the sitcom Only Fools and Horses has closed after 60 years.

Gary Brunton ran Lockside cafe for the past 20 years, but has put the iconic Bristol building on the market as he is retiring.

He says he has been inundated with messages of support since closing the venue.

Lockside, which appeared in Only Fools and Horses as Sid’s Cafe, shut its doors last week after operating for 60 years.

Gary and his family took over in 2002 but has now put the iconic building on the market as he is retiring Credit: BPM Media

Since closing, Gary says he has received countless messages from customers, with people even stopping him in his local supermarket and telling him how sad they are that Lockside has closed.

Gary said: “Most of my regulars realised it was on the horizon because I gave them a few clues but I’ve had an amazing response since we closed and some lovely messages, which is nice.

"A lot of our customers came three or four times a week and they are sending me messages saying ‘what are we going to do now?’

“Hospitality is hard work but we created something special at Lockside and it’s nice that people appreciated it. I had an amazing team with me over the years and I’m very proud of it, but it’s time to move on.”

The venue on Brunel Lock Road started as a transport cafe in 1963 and was previously known as The Venturers Rest and Popeye's Diner.

The cafe has proved popular over the years and has featured in several TV shows Credit: BPM Media

Gary said: “I think it’s a shock to everyone as we’ve been there so long but it has been on the cards for a while.

"It has been an amazing time so it’s the end of an era in many ways. The cafe is a Bristol institution and I had customers who had been going there for 40 or 50 years.

“Although the name changed over the years, there’s real heritage in the place and if you grew up in Bristol you knew it.

"I used to go there as a kid and then as a teenager, and then I used to go there after the nightclubs when it was open 24 hours a day in the 1980s.”

Gary and his family took over in 2002 and he says that despite the fact there had been a cafe there for decades, people still thought Lockside wouldn’t work. This only made him more determined to make it a success.

“When I first took it over, people said it would never work as a cafe again and that made me even more focused to make it work. It has been an amazing journey for me and I’ve loved every minute of it but like all things, it will have to come to an end.

Gary says the cafe’s Only Fools and Horses connection was a firm part of its heritage but that was not the only TV series filmed there.

He said: “Casualty and Being Human were also filmed in there so it had a lot of history. But at one point I probably had at least one person a day saying ‘I don’t know if you knew this but Only Fools was filmed here’ which was nice.”

The cafe is for sale via Christie & Co property agents with a price of offers in excess of £50,000 for the leasehold. The brochure says that turnover was ‘historically’ circa £500,000.