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Soaked in History

Historically good times.

Here at The Bard we’re about serving up a great time, every time. Publican Matt MacNeil set his sights on the historic building many years ago, dreaming of a Public House that would celebrate Victoria’s pioneering roots and original culture. And celebrate we do. We’re focused on bringing you local beer, craft cocktails, exquisite wines, fresh real fare, live entertainment and exceptional service seven days a week. Full of energy, variety and spirit, The Bard is the perfect setting for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late-night, for those special occasions or no occasional at all. Let us show you around, we’re sure you’ll find a great time.


The Pub

Opened in 1885 as the Bank of British Columbia, the building remained a bank until 1988 under a different array of banking establishments’ control. Of all the bank employees to work at this location in the 126 years it was a bank the most notable was, the bard of the Yukon, Robert Service.


Robert Service was born in Lancashire, England in 1874 and was the eldest of ten children. While still a young boy, the family moved to Glasgow, Scotland, where Robert first attended school. He was mainly a solitary child who immersed himself in books and his own imagination, yet still found time to raise a ruckus by getting into scraps with other children. It was during his sixth birthday that Robert first amazed his family and himself with his ability to create rhyming verse, which came in the form of a spontaneous grace during dinner. Throughout his school days Robert immersed himself in the writings of Shakespeare, Burns and Longfellow, all filled with adventure and declamatory verses. By the age of fourteen, Robert had left school and started an apprenticeship with a bank in Scotland. It was here that he found himself with extra time during his shifts and started to devote more time to his poems, of which over a dozen were published in the local paper. In 1896 at the age of twenty-two, Robert resigned from his position at the bank and moved to Canada in search of new travels and adventure. During the next eight years he wandered up and down the West coast of Canada and the U. S. trying his hand at a variety of jobs such as farming, ranching, manual labor, and running a general store. All of these experiences would provide material for his writings.
He was mainly a solitary child who immersed himself in books and his own imagination, yet still found time to raise a ruckus…”

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