For the team behind the Port Admiral Hotel, assuming ownership of the iconic corner pub meant more than simply adding another venue to their collective portfolio. They see themselves as custodians in the truest sense.

The Portside venue was resurrected in late 2017 by Clever Little Tailor partners Crispian Fielke, Josh Baker and Dana Whyte; Low & Slow owners Angus Henderson, Jim Morrison and Angus Kiley; and Whistle & Flute chef Stewart Wesson.

They’ve revived the long diminished role of the publican, bringing the personal service honed in their various ventures. They're often on deck, pulling beers, sizzling steaks and chatting with locals.

There are schnitties on the menu, alongside fish and chips and slow-cooked meats. It’s regulation pub dining, done to satisfy modern expectations. As well as the back-of-house kitchen, an open-fire barbeque burns in the former Saloon Bar. There’s (thankfully) no veggie stack, but vegetarian and vegan options have not been overlooked.

Pirate Life Brewing has contributed a house lager – The Port Local – which is sold as draught and in tinnies, and there’s a connected bottle shop, run by Christian Mular (ex-East End Cellars). It’s a cut above nearby competitors. Take a bottle home or enjoy it with your meal.

The bar decor is intentionally low-key. A few choice pieces that reflect the building’s past have been collected by designers Crafty Design (Shobosho, Crack Kitchen), but otherwise the interior is uncluttered – ready to be filled by the colour and stories of its customers.

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Updated: January 11th, 2019

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