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The Bard & Banker | Victoria | Government St. @ Fort St.


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#41 Number Six

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 06:32 PM

I walked by the B&B at lunch today and it looks FANTASTIC! I can't wait to check it out properly tomorrow. They were putting the finishing touches on the exterior and I have to say it is one of the most beautiful restorations (or transformations) I've seen in Victoria.

#42 hotdoglegz

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 04:52 PM

I got to attend the private launch at the B&B last night. I had high expectations for the space and they were definitely exceeded.

Be sure to take note of the marble bar tops, the tiled floor and the washrooms.

That back patio was not completed and I think it might be a few more days before it is open but should be a prime evening seat this summer.

#43 LJ

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 09:07 PM

I was just looking at the thread title - should this still be listed as proposed?????
Life's a journey......so roll down the window and enjoy the breeze.

#44 Caramia

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 09:14 PM

Good catch - fixed.. thanks LJ

#45 Rorschach

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 10:34 AM

The good news it's beautiful - three levels - ornately decorated - nice tables, booths, bars, etc. More good news is that they are indeed serving the local beers including Phillips Lager and Blue Buck Ale. Their beer list even has a special section for "A taste of Victoria." In fact, an easy way to spot the locals is to check out how many Phillips glasses were on the bar.

The down side is that the menu and food is about identical to Irish Times and Penny Farthing. I'm hoping as time goes by this develops into it's own style. The owner should check out Gordon Ramsay's London Bar menu for some good ideas that could be easily adapted for Victoria's local products.

I'm going to reserve judgment on the food quality and preparation for a while because it takes a while for the kitchen to get up to speed and start turning things out properly.

I love the place and they have all the elements in place and I'll be a regular for sure. We got to get the food up to standard though.

#46 gumgum

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 11:26 AM

I went here last night and was very impressed with the decor. The transformation must have cost a fortune. I love the tiled floors and the high end woodwork. The marble surfaces is the showpiece of the interior, for sure.

My wife and I shared three starters and they were all decent at best. The service was a bit slow but tolerable, espescially for such a young establishment.

Are you sure the menu was the same as the Times and the Farthing, Rorschach? We had the duck poutine and I don't remember seeing it anywhere else.

I'll go back in a while and being very happy once they've worked out some of the minor kinks, I'm sure.

#47 Caramia

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 12:28 PM

Duck poutine? I am trying to imagine that

#48 gumgum

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 01:27 PM

It would have been very good if it hadn't been served lukewarm.

#49 Rorschach

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 05:08 PM

The menu looks like the exact same thing in the exact same style as Irish Times and Penny Farthing. The beautiful bar with the marble has the same beer taps as Irish Times -- except for the nice new Phillips logos and glasses.

There are probably some differences in the menus, and not having all three to compare at once I can't say they are exact - but they are nearly so.

My chips were cold and still frozen hard on the inside - yuck. My entree didn't taste fresh and was not hot. I don't need to comment on Duck Poutine. That's no attraction for me. I still don't understand regular poutine or pouring gravy over chips. It's mad.

#50 gumgum

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 06:43 PM

^Yeah well, I grew up just over the river from Quebec. Poutine is in my blood, literally.

#51 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 06:47 PM

I checked it out yesterday. It sure looks nice.

144 patrons and 26 workers when I counted. They won't have been making any money yet at that rate, but I'm sure they just wanted to be prepared.

#52 LJ

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 08:02 PM

Do I remember correctly that there is a big kitchen underneath the B&B that was going to prepare food for both the B&B and the Irish Times?

If so I would assume that the menus would be the same, or very similar.
Life's a journey......so roll down the window and enjoy the breeze.

#53 Number Six

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 05:52 PM

I dropped by for a quick pint after work on Friday and made it just in time for the ribbon cutting. I've never been "piped in" for a pint before! I had a quick look around and it certainly is impressive ... and large.

My girlfriend and I stopped by for dinner after visiting the Tall Ships on Saturday and both our meals were very good. The service was reasonably quick and the food was hot. I tried their "Sliders" ... a selection of 3 mini-burgers including a curried lamb that was fantastic. My only complaint is that they don't offer a full-size curried lamb burger ... seems very odd. Perhaps I need to ask for them to "super-size" it for me? BTW, I had a lamb burger at the Irish Times last week and it was different than the one served at the B&B.

I had pint of Blue Buck on Saturday ($6.50 I believe + tax) and a pint of Bass on Friday ($7.25 + tax) so a bit pricey but not unexpected. When it comes to beer Swan's (Appleton Nut Brown Ale) and Spinnakers (Mitchell's ESB) are still tops in my books but that said the B&B is (IMHO) a fantastic addition to the core.

#54 Number Six

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 05:54 PM

Do I remember correctly that there is a big kitchen underneath the B&B that was going to prepare food for both the B&B and the Irish Times?


I *think* the bakery in the basement is used to supply all his pubs but I would assume the Irish Times will use it's own kitchen to prepare everything else.

#55 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 06:12 PM

I *think* the bakery in the basement is used to supply all his pubs but I would assume the Irish Times will use it's own kitchen to prepare everything else.


Yes, that sounds right.

#56 Rorschach

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 08:46 AM

Has anyone been there lately? I don't think I can maintain my regular status easily. Too expensive. I'm going back to Swans.

#57 Nparker

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 09:30 AM

I was there for the first time on Monday (July 7) at lunch time. I was very impressed with the decor, and had I been a scotch drinker the list of available brands was VERY extensive indeed. However, I was a tad let down by the fact that as a non-beer drinker, I was unable to get Strongbow's cider on tap. Many other pubs in town carry it, including the Penny Farthing in Oak Bay, so it's not as though the mangement has never heard of it. In the end I settled for Mike's Hard Lemonade in a bottle (it was that or the typical Grower's ciders and wine coolers). The food menu was quite decent, if a wee bit pricey. I am not sure all the cost of renovations need to be recouped in the first month!

That being said I think there was something there for most palattes and the Chicken-Pesto panini I ordered was tasty and very generously portioned. I can't recall the last time I was served that many fries at a downtown pub. One smallish complaint was that my dining companion and I were in a bit of a hurry, and despite our request for the bill from our waitress, we ended up having to make a request from another staff member to get it. Though I will say this was done VERY promptly when asked. It was not particulary busy at the time so I am not sure where our waitress disappeared to.

Another nice bit of authenticity were that several of the male staff were wearing kilts. I did not ask to see just HOW authentic they were being with this garment, but it did add to the atmosphere.

Will I go back? Without a doubt. I think with a group of people, where one could try several different appetizers (some were very tempting), and the addition of cider on tap (or at least Merridale's by the bottle) I would rate this addition to the local pub scene quite high.

#58 amor de cosmos

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 09:56 AM

I was unable to get Strongbow's cider on tap. Many other pubs in town carry it, including the Penny Farthing in Oak Bay, so it's not as though the mangement has never heard of it.


They had it when I went a few days after opening... :confused: I happened to sit at the bar right in front of the pull.

#59 G-Man

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 10:07 AM

Is Merridale Cider not available on tap? It is far superior to Strongbow and it is local.

#60 Zimquats

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 10:10 AM

My understanding is that there was a Strongbow shortage last couple of weeks. A couple other places ran out too. It's all better now :)

And yes, you can get Merridale in a keg.

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