Grain Barge

About Us

The Grain Barge started life as an engineless barge that used to be towed across the Severn Estuary from Bristol to Cardiff with its cargoes of barley & wheat – hence its name. Built in 1936 by the Charles Hill shipyard, it is now moored in Hotwells, opposite its original berth and near to Brunel's SS Great Britain.

The boat was bought and refitted in 2007 with an interior design which used reclaimed and recycled materials wherever possible, reflecting its industrial heritage.

Grain Barge has two bars. The main harbourside lounge and dining area is light & airy, with the upper 'al fresco' deck boasting panoramic views of the harbour. The recently revamped Hold Bar is a great venue for music, comedy and pop-up events and can also be hired for private parties.

Opening hours:
Mon-Weds: 12pm-11pm
Thurs-Sat: 12pm-11.30pm
Sun: 12pm-11pm

Food served:
Mon–Wed: 12–3pm & 6-9pm
Thur–Fri: 12–3pm & 6-10pm
Sat: 12-10pm / Sun: 12-4pm & 6-9pm

Clem Elphick


Growing up on the wild beaches of Northumberland Clem's passion for the water and all things outdoors began early.

Following four exciting years in the mountainous French Alps working through chalet and hotel management Clem returned to the UK and joined his love for boats and hospitality as General Manager of the Grain Barge in 2015.

Whilst not discussing port and starboard on the barge he can be found running his independent clothing company Finest Hour, cooking chilli con carne and drinking a 'little' glass of whiskey. 

Emily Pilkington

Assistant manager

Emily came aboard as the assistant manager in November 2015, following a crash course in craft ales and a new found love for stouts. She is excited about her new venture on the Barge and keen to expand the pop up nights available.

A background in customer services and an ongoing love for festival production has meant she has experienced everything from selling homemade fudge to organising the Dali Lama’s Birthday Lunch. And continues to explore festival and film production opportunities in her time off.

Hollie Wheeler

Head Chef

Growing up with leeks in her heart and cheese in her belly, Hollie hopped the bridge after starting as a commis chef 10 years ago in the Wye Valley to become sous chef for two years at the Barge. Feeling prepared to take over the kitchen, she took a month off to travel around Europe to gain some inspiration for her classic European styled creations, and to feed it in to the British element of the Barge’s menu.

When not thinking up 20 different ways to cook duck she’s checking out the incredible foodie scene of Bristol, growing veg and rocking out at metal gigs.

Kit McKenzie

Music & Promotion

Live music promoter, sound engineer, deejay, charango player, poster designer, painter, cyclist & traveler.

Kit oversees everything "music" at both Tobacco Factory and Grain Barge as well as other venues around Bristol and Bath and is committed to providing the best musical adventures to the community.

Dave Bain

Design & Exhibitions

Taking care of all design-related needs for Grain Barge, Dave also curates the exhibitions, works as a freelance illustrator and DJs as Waxmouse.

Sarah Ford

Venues Manager

Sarah is responsible for overseeing the Grain Barge, along with the Tobacco Factory Cafe Bar and Sunday Market.

She initially joined forces with George Ferguson in 2001 to set up the Tobacco Factory Cafe Bar and later took the Bristol Beer Factory’s Grain Barge under her wing.

In her spare time she is busy growing vegetables, off road running and enjoying family life