This 1885 building in Victoria once housed the Bank of British Columbia... and its most notable employee was Robert Service, the "bard of the Yukon." Before he found fame with works like "The Cremation of Sam McGee," he often slept on the vault at the top of the staircase: now a snug in this charming craft-beer pub. The decor harks back to a more elegant time with vintage tiles, brass rails, and leaded glass, along with globe lamps. But the menu brings a welcome modernity with vegetarian and gluten-free dishes among the omnivorous ones. Standouts include the Salt Spring Island mussels, a jasmine rice bowl, and slow-roasted chicken with Portuguese paprika. The Bard & Banker has live music—no cover—nightly at 7pm.
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Bard & Banker
Bard & Banker—or simply the Bard—is a pub located on the corner of Fort and Government Streets in downtown Victoria. The building opened as a bank in 1862 and housed various other commercial establishments until it was reinvented as the Bard in 2008. The owners have been serving craft beer, cocktails, wine and regionally sourced food here ever since.