Owner and licensee
laid back and smooth
The Port vibe is…
“positive with an amazing culture”
No. of employees
Rebirth of an icon
There’s something special about lazing away an afternoon at The British. It could be argued that the pub’s location – overlooking the river with the traffic slowly winding past – is the best in Port Adelaide.
When tall-masted boats are sailing, the bridge opens up on demand and it’s hard to not get excited at each opportunity to see the road rise vertically into the sky. For big and little kids, The British is the place to enjoy a leisurely weekend lunch or Sunday breakfast.
Almost as old as the colony of South Australia, the pub has strong ties to the early movers and shakers.
The second storey was added in 1876 for its then owner, Henry Ayers, who was premier of South Australia in the years preceding and after whom Ayers Rock was named.
Fast forward to modern times when the rundown pub was completely refurbished and reopened four years ago as a destination in itself. The character of the old stone building has been retained, while the furnishings are upmarket and contemporary. Its charm is amplified by the sailing ships, Falie and One And All, moored nearby.
Owner and publican, Bruce says that after briefly flirting with the nightclubbing 20s market, the pub has “found its groove and settled into 30 to 40-somethings and young families”. Weekdays it has a steady lunch trade from the neighbouring fisheries, TAFE and local businesses, while the smell of the freshly ground beans draws people in for coffee with a view. Functions are also hosted upstairs and in the private cellar.
Bruce and manager Ashley are both big fans of Port Adelaide and will rapidly reel off a list of things not to be missed. However, apparently there’s no need to leave The British to enjoy a shiver of excitement – after dark, the building is supposedly haunted.
“We are rumoured to have a ghost in the cellar,” says Bruce who claims not to believe, although he’s witnessed other odd things.
“In the cool room there are stacks of two-litre milks toward the back of the shelves, not on the edge… One morning, we came out and there’s one just thrown in the middle of the floor. How in the hell that moved…”
People obviously enjoy the idea of the pub being haunted. According to Ashley, “there is one ghost tour that has included us in the past.”
But, if you were to sit in this pub on a beautiful Adelaide day, there’d be more important things to contemplate than ghosts.
And #1 on that list would be the view.