The Angel 2000
New Victoria 1997
Victoria Restaurant and Hotel 1881
Victoria Restaurant 1877
Page updated 2nd May 2014
It was in 1869 that the Victoria Hall was built in Queen Street, to provide a 2,000 seater hall for conventions, exhibitions and concerts. The hall was situated to the rear of a vacant plot of land that fronted Queen Street. While the construction of the hall took place, Mr Pinn, a builder, started to construct two houses on the plot of land. He soon got into trouble for building a chimney wall at the rear of the property that was only 4½ inches rather than 9 inches thick, thinking that the 2ft wall of the adjacent Victoria Hall would be sufficient to prevent a fire spreading. The right hand of the pair of houses that Mr Pinn constructed, would become The Angel.
In April 1877, William Norton placed an advert in the Flying Post informing the public that he was expanding his existing business and opening the Victoria Restaurant, at 32 Queen Street, this being one of Mr Pinn’s houses. Norton was a cook and confectioner. Norton offered cold joints, tongues, seasoned pies along with wine and Guinness, breakfasts, luncheons, dinners and teas. The close proximity to both the Victoria Hall and Queen Street Station ensured the restaurant prospered.
The Victoria Hall was devastated by a massive fire in October 1919. The buildings shared a rear and side wall, causing some alarm, as flames leapt from the roof of the hall, at the rear of the hotel. Some of the contents of the hotel, including wines and spirits were removed to the Rougemont Gardens opposite (Central Station had not yet been built). The fire firefighters managed to contain the flames, and both the Victoria and Rougemont Hotels were saved.
From the 1985 it became Garbo's, then from 1989 the Pink Pelican, and by 1991 it became known as Envi. While it was Garbo's, local group Rat Patrol, who had an enthusiastic following, playing several gigs there.
The Victoria was owned by Brutton Mitchell Toms, a Yeovil brewery that existed between 1937 and 1960. Brutton Mitchell Toms was taken over by Charringtons, who merged with Bass to become Bass Charrington. The Bass portfolio of public houses, including the old Victoria Hotel was purchased by Punch Taverns in 1997. The Angel is part of the Punch group.
Now, The Angel is considered to be an elegant, comfortable venue with a mixed custom. It is popular for a starting drink, in the early evening, for those who arrive at Central Station for a night out in Exeter. It also has a loyal, local following, encouraged by live and open mike music.
1877 - Victoria Restaurant - William Norton
1891 - Victoria Restaurant and Hotel - Anne Norton
1898 - Victoria Restaurant and Hotel - Miss Bunning
1906 - Victoria Hotel and Restaurant - Augustine James Tower
1912 - Victoria Hotel and Restaurant - Mrs Phyllis Parker
1923 - Victoria Hotel run - Mrs H Simmons
1937 - Victoria Hotel - Mr Eustace Frederick Robinson
1939 - Victoria Hotel - John Alex McLean
1967 - Victoria Hotel - Ernest Frank Hall
1972 - Victoria - no licensee named
2014 - The Angle - Harrie Fouracres
Source: Flying Post, Western Times, Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, Peter Hinchliffe
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