Arco Lounge

About Loungers

Loungers was founded in 2002 by a trio of long standing friends, Dave Reid, Alex Reilley and Jake Bishop. Having spent years in the restaurant and bar trade – not to mention just as many propping up the bars in Bristol (all of course in the name of research) - they decided it was time they did their own thing. The motivation was simple and very selfish; they wanted somewhere to drink themselves.

An empty opticians on North Street, Bristol seemed to fit the bill. It had the necessary planning permission, was just about big enough and in reasonable condition. The ‘shell’ included a kitchen so they accepted that they would be doing a bit of food, and after a few months of sort-of-not-knowing-what-they-were-doing, Lounge opened on Tuesday 29th August 2002.

They liked it a lot and so, it seemed, did a lot of other people. They pondered whether they should open another one, maybe on Gloucester road, and in what was an absurdly short space of time they did, and Loungers was born. The rest, as they say, is history…

What makes a Lounge?

The Lounges are informal neighbourhood café/bars, open all day every day, where families, friends, and local residents can come for a coffee, or a drink or something to eat in a relaxed and comfortable environment.

The menu is available all day and offers a wide range of dishes including our famous breakfasts and burgers an eclectic array of tapas, sandwiches and panini, and a variety of fuller dishes, prepared using great quality fresh produce.

There is an extensive selection of coffee and loose-leaf teas, cakes & pastries, freshly squeezed juice and a great selection of wines, draught beers and cocktails. The interiors are comfortable, inviting and a bit eccentric with a strong use of reclaimed and antique furniture and fittings. The photos, the great majority of which feature Dave’s grandparents and our very own MD, are fun, distinctive, and sometimes a little weird.

There is also a variety of board games for children and adults, daily newspapers, free Wi-Fi, highchairs and a free neighbourhood book swap facility where customers can bring in an old book and swap it for one in our bookcase.

The Future of Lounging…

Since that small, quiet start in Bristol back in 2002, Loungers have taken the café bar world by storm, and are now to be found all over the country. There are around eighty Lounges these days, and we are opening about twenty more every year: there is no shortage of progression and opportunities with a group that is growing that quickly!

We have scooped a host of awards including the R200 ‘Operator of the Year’, the M&C Report’s ‘Retailers’ Retailer of the Year’, and most recently won the prestigious ‘Best Pub & Bar Award’ at the Cateys. We can’t keep growing without some great new talent though – and hopefully that’s where you come in!

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