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.

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

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.

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.

Kit Mckenzie

Music and Promotion

Overseeing all things music at Tobacco Factory and Grain Barge, Kit is a promoter, sound engineer and DJ, and is committed to providing the best musical adventures to the community.

Jenny Johnson


Jenny takes care of all design-related needs for the Grain Barge and Tobacco Factory. The rest of the week she works from her home office as a freelance designer.

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.

David Pyne

Marketing Manager

Responsible for spreading the word about all aspects of Grain Barge and Tobacco Factory, David works with the team to ensure that everyone gets to know everything that’s going on.

Bristol Pound

The Bristol Pound is a secure, local currency, designed to support Bristol’s independent businesses.

You can spend your Bristol Pounds at Tobacco Factory, Grain Barge and The Barley Mow. Tobacco Factory Cafe Bar is also a Cash Point, where you can exchange your sterling for Bristol Pounds.

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