Grain barge

started life as an engineless transport barge that carried barley and wheat from Bristol to Cardiff, across the Severn Estuary. Built in 1936 by the Charles Hill shipyard, the barge 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. The new interior uses reclaimed and recycled materials that reflect the boat’s industrial heritage.

Today, Grain Barge is a relaxed and friendly bar/restaurant with spectacular views across Bristol harbour and the iconic ss Great Britain. Serving fresh, locally-sourced dishes and a range of craft beers, ciders, wines and coffees, this unique venue also hosts a programme of live music and comedy from its intimate Hold Bar. Relax below deck and enjoy panoramic views of the river from the light, bright restaurant/bar or sit up-top and watch river life glide past.

We’re a dog friendly barge!

Strike a light for independents

We support and champion independent, local business. Founded on Grain Barge owner George Ferguson’s belief that independent businesses are the lifeblood of our city, Grain Barge is proudly reliant on independent brewers, producers and suppliers.

Key People

Sarah Ford

Managing Director

Having joined Tobacco Factory at the outset to set up the Cafe Bar in 2001, Sarah oversees all aspects of Tobacco Factory's Cafe Bar, including events, the Sunday Market as well as Grain Barge.

Charles Mooyaart

Executive Chef

Charles joins us with a mission to spread his belief that food should be ethical and fun - bringing people together with classic dishes made with locally sourced seasonal ingredients.

James Caesar


With a strong focus on customer service, James returned to the Grain Barge as General Manager with the mission of making our boat a celebration of Bristol; from an excellent selection of local beers, to utilising local produce from Five Acre Farm and other local suppliers.

Jenny Johnson

Marketing & Design Manager

Jenny heads up marketing and design at all our venues. When not at work you'll most likely find her in a boat rowing past Grain Barge on the harbour!

Jen Steadman-Bailey

Social Media Manager

When not dreaming up copy or snapping photos Jen spends her time cultivating an extensive slogan t-shirt collection, raving about Hamilton to anyone who will listen, and eating a lot of chocolate.

Evi Pegler


Responsible for all the financial details, Evi runs a tight ship.

Tim Myers

Facilities Manager

Looking after all aspects of the Tobacco Factory building and the Grain Barge, Tim is a self confessed construction nerd and is never happier than when calculating wall thickness and heat retention.

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