Tuesday 28th July 2011
This pub is at no 1022, Government Street. A former bank, it was once the premises of the Bank of British Columbia. This pub, in the Vic Pubs Group, is Scottish themed house. It was built in 1883, was extended during the 1920s and closed in 1987. It opened as a pub in 2008 and like the Irish Times around the corner it has a very sumptuous interior.
The name refers to Robert Service (b.1874) a Scotsman who lived on the West Coast around the turn of the century. Before he became famous for his poetry he worked for the Canadian Bank of Commerce who were the then owners of this building. He actually slept over the first floor vault at night. It was after he was transferred to the Yukon that his poems became so successful and he was able to leave the bank.
The beer range was similar to the Garrick's Head and Irish Times including Service 1904 Ale, named for bank's illustrious former employee. Beers not found in the other pubs included Vancouver Island Spyhopper Honey Brown Ale and Salt Spring Island Heatherdale Ale. The latter came from Gulf Islands Brewing's Salt Spring Island Brewery. Salt Spring Island is off the east coast of Vancouver Island, north of the San Juan Islands. The heather comes from the well-known Butchart Botanical Gardens in Victoria.
I then walked back to my hotel in the stunningly beautiful evening light, see the photos below of the grand buildings around the Inner Harbour. The left hand view shows, left in background, the parliament building of British Columbia (built 1898) and right, the former ship terminal of the Canadian Pacific Railway (1923 to 1985). The right-hand image shows the magnificent Empress Hotel (built 1908) also built by the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Bard & Banker, 1022 Government Street, Victoria, BC. V8W 1X7. Tel: 250 953 9993
Open Daily: 11.00-01.00
Victoria is at the bottom of Vancouver Island and is connected to the rest of the Island and also Vancouver by bus. The rail service is suspended.
Vancouver is also reached by normal air services and sea planes.
There are ferries to Seattle and Port Angeles in the USA. Cruise liners call regularly.