Steeped In History, Bard and Banker Is More Than A Great Pub

Every city has a building or two that whisper its history when you enter. With a mix of west coast inspirations along with classic pub fare, there is a plethora of choices for every palate.

Every city has a building or two that whisper its history when you enter.

They are buildings I can stare at for hours imagining all the stories and lives that entered and used the space. In a world where modern tends to rule the day, some businesses in the city of Victoria, BC have sought to preserve the beauty of the past. And that’s just what has happened with the historic Bard and Banker.

Well, the name isn’t the historic part, but the building is.

And it’s beautiful.

Photo: Bard & Banker

Bard and Banker is a pub with incredible food and fantastic atmosphere.

Every weekend they offer a dynamic brunch full of flavour and ambiance. They use fresh, local ingredients and even have their very own herbs grown on site.

With a mix of west coast inspirations along with classic pub fare, there is a plethora of choices for every palate.

We dined on the special occasion of Valentine’s Day. So sure, maybe love was extra thick in the air, but the food IS really good. I eat salmon whenever I get the chance, so the Salmon Lox was an easy choice for me.

But, come on, add a poached egg, capers, and rye toast and this breakfast is gold.

Photo: Bard & Banker
Photo: Bard & Banker

And who doesn’t love a mimosa for breakfast on Valentine’s? The only problem I could find is that the food is just too good.

We couldn’t stop. I chuckled at our server when she brought over a dessert menu and then when I returned from the bathroom I discovered Jay went ahead and ordered the 5 Layers of Chocolate!

This smooth, decadent dessert perfectly ended our dining experience.

Everything about Bard and Banker is special.

Photo: Bard & Banker

The service is relaxed, easy and strangely comfortable.

There’s something about this restaurant that envelopes you, wrapping you like a warm blanket.

The live music definitely had something to do with it. That’s right, every brunch and every evening local artists entertain here at Bard and Banker. The soft, Norah Jones vibe helped keep the warm glow going and it’s possibly what kept us in the pub for so long. I’m sure the evening artists liven things up a bit, which only add to the fun of this place.

But above all, it’s the building, sweeping staircases, the massive chandeliers, the long, shiny bar and all the nooks and crannies of this incredible place that give it a blend of nostalgia and extravagance.

Built in 1885, this building is steeped in history.

It began as a bank and or over 100 years this structure housed the financial institutions that helped form people’s lives in Victoria. With 2-storey high ceilings and massive doors that welcome you to the opulence of the “old days”, it’s not hard to imagine the financial commerce of this place. In 1988, after changing banking institutions a few times, the building became a Christmas store.

But in 2008, Bard and Banker, the pub, began.

With a nod to the past, it’s name tells the story of this building. A famous “Bard” (or poet, for those of you like me who were lost with the significance of the word) Robert Service, worked for a few years at the bank. His story covers the walls of the pub. He moved to the Yukon after working at the bank. It was there he penned some of his most famous poems. Known as the “bard of the Yukon,” it’s no wonder his name pops up in this establishment.

Take a walk around the pub, look at the pictures, feel the history soak into your bones. It’s places like this that raise Victoria as one of Canada’s most romantic cities. But really, you must experience it for yourself.

Gretta receiving a historical building tour from the manager.


Bard & Banker Downtown Victoria.

Visit Bard & Banker Online:  “We opened our doors in downtown Victoria in 2008 and have been satisfying your thirst for local craft beer, premiums imports and wide array of wine and spirits, 7 days a week ever sinceWe offer a full service menu that is hearty, fast, locally sourced when possible, and made from scratch. We have lots of options for the gluten free and vegetarian diner and are pleased to host large groups” Bard & Banker

Phone: 250-953-9993

Menu:    “Our stellar kitchen team are dedicated to providing exceptional cuisine everyone can enjoy. Sourcing local and sustainable ingredients, and growing our own herbs and microgreens on site, we strive for freshness, quality, and flavour at every turn” Bard & Banker

Live Music: “Come for dinner, stay for the show. The Bard & Banker is one of the very few places in Victoria offering live music 7 nights a week with NO cover charge.” Bard & Banker

Directions To Bard & Banker: