The Mud Dock Story

The Mud Dock Story2018-12-06T18:38:38+00:00

We left graphic-design careers in London with a dream of opening a bike shop and restaurant. With plenty of energy and enthusiasm, but meagre funds and little experience of retail or catering, we began refurbishing an airy industrial building on the floating harbour in Bristol…

Our love of bikes and food has helped us keep up with cycling and restaurant trends over the years. We’ve seen chain restaurants open and close around us, and we’ve lost a lot of sales to online businesses who cut prices and sell boxes out of sheds.

But thanks to our amazing team and loyal customers, we are now deciding how to celebrate Mud Dock’s 25th anniversary in 2019.

Some happy Mud Dock memories…

1993

A building is found, walls are knocked down and a big round window is installed.

Mud Dock building renovation, 1993

1994

Mud Dock Cycleworks and Café opens. We sell our first mug of tea. Tom Jaine, editor of The Good Food Guide, gives us a pretty good food review in The Telegraph.

1995

Mud Dock is featured in the World of Interiors. We are regional winners of the National Small Business Award. We build our first deck overlooking the harbour.

Glorious Mud article, 1995

1995

Fashion guru Paul Smith makes a TV programme at Mud Dock and sponsors our team.

Paul Smith article, 1995

1996

The Festival of the Sea is held on the harbourside – and we’re in the middle of it. We buy a Dodge Ram as our team truck.

Dodge Ram truck, 1996Dodge Ram truck, 1996

1997

The All Blacks eat at Mud Dock Café, the night before their match at Ashton Gate.

All Blacks article, 1997

1997

Dave and Ade are on the front page of MBR (but not in team kit!). Our MTB team, sponsored by San Miguel, compete in and win the National Championships.

MBR cover, 1997

1998

Mud Dock Café wins Café of the Year in Cafés of Europe by Roy Ackerman. World Champion Graeme Obree launches the city leg of the Prutour at Mud Dock. Paul Smith designs our team kit. We win best-dressed team.

Café of the Year 1998 article

1998

We commission portraits of key staff and regulars by Chris Simkiss, which then appear in the Independent Saturday Magazine.

Independent Saturday Magazine article, 1998

1999

Paul McCartney holds a book launch at Mud Dock.

Beatles cartoon

2002

We organize a pétanque tournament to raise money for the Children’s Hospital.

Boules article, 2002

2003

Mud Dock Bike Shed opens with secure parking and showers. We build our second deck.

Bike Shed article, 2003Mud Dock Bike Shed, 2003

2004

We celebrate our 10th anniversary.

2005

More great reviews in national mags and papers.

Review in The Times, 2005

2006

The writer Will Self pays us a visit. Matt pops up on the cover of Seven, and in an article in Life magazine.

Will Self article, 2006Seven magazine cover, 2006

2008

We host a Rollapaluza roller race, and our Duncan clocks the 5th fastest time EVER. Jamie, head of the maths department, realises he’s been with us for 10 years.

Rollapaluza night, 2008The Telegraph Magazine article, 2008

2010

We organise Mudstock – a festival for all things cycling

Mudstock poster, 2010

2013

We commission artist Stewy to make Bristol themed stencils of Brunel, Darth Vader, DJ Derek etc.

Stewy's Darth, 2013Stewy's Brunel, 2013

2014

Mud Dock celebrates its 20th anniversary.

20th anniversary banner, 2014

2015

We partner up with Le Sportif to host regular road rides.

Le Sportif logo, 2015

2016

We record our busiest ever year in the Café. Rapha base their Prestige ride for the South West at Mud Dock.

Rapha Prestige Ride departing from Mud Dock, 2016

2017

We record our busiest ever year in the Café – again! Mud Dock becomes Brompton’s biggest retailer in the South West.

Brompton montage, 2017Brompton bicycle icons

2018

Jamie realises he’s been with us for 20 years. We host the Tour of Britain team during the Bristol leg of the race, and host the Zwift + Wahoo King and Queen of the Mountains race night in the Café.

Zwift Wahoo event at Mud Dock, 2018

To learn more about Mud Dock, pop in to see us and experience the place for yourself!

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