Grain Barge floating restaurant on Harbourside to be sold
A POPULAR floating bar and restaurant has been put up for sale.
The Grain Barge is moored opposite the ss Great Britain and has become one of the most popular venues on The Harbourside.
The venue opened for business in 2007 and is partly owned by Bristol mayor George Ferguson. The Bristol Beer Factory, which was set up by Mr Ferguson, has decided to put the venture up for sale and will use the money to expand its Ashton brewery.
Mr Ferguson said: "The Bristol Beer Factory is doing incredibly well and the decision has been taken to focus on the brewery side of the business.
"We have spoken to the staff at the Grain Barge and they will be looked after, no matter what happens.
"Although it is not the main reason, this is partly to do with me down- sizing my business interests so I can concentrate on the day job and so there is no conflict of interest."
The Grain Barge has a sister pub in the Dings – The Barley Mow – which has also become a popular venue in the city.
The Grain Barge is moored alongside the Mardyke Quay on Hotwells Road. It was built in Hill's Dockyard in Bristol docks in 1935.
A "dumb" barge without a motor, it used to be towed from Bristol to Cardiff, full of wheat and barley.
It was refurbished and refitted in 2007 for its new life as a restaurant and bar.
Sitting beneath the multi-coloured houses of Cliftonwood, the vessel has itself become something of a landmark on the harbour and together with the quayside has been the venue for a variety of events.
Bristol Beer Factory managing director Simon Bartlett said: "With its prominent site and great range of food and drink, the Grain Barge has played an important role in the success of the brewery.
"Now that we have established a strong local and national reputation, we have decided to consolidate our business with the development of our Ashton premises and brewing operation and favour the development of more traditional local pubs such as the Barley Mow, in the Dings."
The Bristol Beer Factory was the winner of the 2011 BBC Drinks Producer of the Year award and has won numerous other national and regional awards for its range of craft beers.