Crowdfunding campaign launched to secure the future of iconic Bristol 'cat pub'

Crowdfunding campaign launched to secure the future of iconic Bristol 'cat pub'

Posted on: 04 May 2021

Just over half of The Bag of Nails' £23,000 target has been raised so far.


Renowned Bristol 'cat pub' The Bag of Nails have launched a crowdfunding campaign to safeguard for the future, with debts and running costs rising due to the impact of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.


Having had a short-lived outdoor drinking setup scuppered by the council earlier this month the team are counting the cost of more than a year behind closed doors, and are appealing for public donations to ensure they're able to reopen once it's safe to do so.


Launched on Wednesday 28 April, the campaign has already seen a huge outpouring of support, with over £12,000 of a £23,000 target raised so far. Find out more and make a donation here via GoFundMe.



A firm favourite among locals and visitors since its grand reopening in 2011, The Bag of Nails is loved just as much for its diverse selection of beers and ales as it is for its extended family of felines that live inside the pub.


Proudly stocking a wide range of produce from locally- and nationally-renowned breweries, the pub personifies Bristol's independent spirit, earning cult status across the city and beyond.


Outlining the reasoning behind their crowdfunding campaign, Bag of Nails Assistant Manager Andy McWilliams says the team are in a precarious position, facing mounting debts and a "monstrous" cat food bill that they're increasingly unlikely to be able to cover on their own.


"Throughout this last year our glorious leader/landlord, Luke, has been fantastic," Andy explains.


"He's kept us all employed despite uncertainty, he has made sure that when it has been legally possible, folks have been able to get high quality, super sexy, fresh cask and keg beers on draught, including getting out on the bike and bringing the beers to your home."


The statement goes on to outline that the pub's annual cat costs come in at more than £8,000, while rent arrears have mounted to £15,000.

Cats on the bar at The Bag of Nails.

Bag of Nails merchandise is on the way in the coming weeks to say thank you to those who donate to the campaign, while donations of £100 or more will grant access to a private "cheese-rain" party with the pub team (and the cats) once they're able to reopen.


"The cats have really missed you all giving them cuddles and playing with them and they can't wait to knock your drink over again," Andy adds.


"We know you have a lot of love for us and can feel that. Luke and the rest of us at the Bag just want to get back to giving you that unique experience because we love entertaining you guys."


For more information on The Bag of Nails' crowdfunding campaign, to make a donation or to follow news and updates in the coming weeks, head to their GoFundMe page or find the pub on Facebook.

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Article by:

Matt Robson


Editor - & LOUD Magazine

Matt is a Journalism graduate and writer, passionate about supporting Bristol music, art and independent business. Get in touch via email at