Our pub is so popular we’ve got a FOUR YEAR waiting list for bookings – but it’s not pints that punters loveMarch 13, 2022
A LANDLORD says his pub is so popular there is a FOUR YEAR waiting list for bookings – but it's not the pints that punters love.
Sam Gregory, who runs The Bank Tavern in Bristol, has earned a reputation for cooking up a spectacular Sunday lunch.
The pub's grub is that popular, there is a four-year waiting list to get a table -and 160 roasts fly out of the kitchen each week.
The homemade gravy and mammoth Yorkshire puddings are just a couple of elements that saw the dinner named best in Britain by the Observer Food Monthly Awards in 2019.
Despite a pandemic getting in the way of their designated spots, guests are still desperate to keep their bookings years down the line.
The Bank Tavern has been forced to stop taking new bookings in a bid to clear the backlog caused by Covid.
Sam admitted the team has "created a massive rod for our back" by boasting the best Sunday lunch – but proudly wears the crown all the same.
The boozer has even had to introduce a fourth sitting due to the high demand for the roasts.
He told Bristol Live: "It had got to a four year waiting list until the pandemic but because we had a huge backlog of bookings for people who couldn’t eat here due to Covid or lockdowns, we made the decision to honour every booking.
“We’ve actually closed off the booking system so you can’t book online and if we get any cancellations, we are simply back-filling with people in the diary from two years ago.
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"We are up to January 2020 now so it’s going to take a while to get through all the bookings."
The Bank Tavern source all their ingredients as locally as possible, with regulars even bringing in their spare veg grown in their allotments.
He continued: "We stick to the same meats all year round but add seasonal alternatives like lamb and venison, but our starters and desserts change every week.
"A lot of places doing Sunday roasts only release bookings for three-month slots and if we knew we were going to be this popular, we would have done that but it’s a nice problem to have."
But Sam admits the boozer still occasionally suffers from "no shows".
The team have painstakingly battled with their booking system to secure everyone a slot and admit it will "take a while" to get through the rest.
But he encouraged hungry passersby to still pop their heads in if they are nearby, as occasionally the highly sought after tables become free.
Sam added: "We always say to people if you are in town, stick your head around the door because sometimes tables come up if we get no-shows. It’s always worth checking just in case."
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The landlord believes it is "consistency" that has spurred on their continued success and sell-out roasts.
He explained: "For me, it’s more about building a brand and establishing customers who will come back – we’d rather have a longer relationship with our regulars."
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