One of the most enduring images of 2014 captured the moment the Waterfront, a much-loved Plymouth watering hole, was almost wiped off the map by the fiercest storm in living memory. The sheer weight of the water that pulverised the pub led many experts to conclude that the St Austell Brewery owned business was beyond repair. Amazingly a year later, after dogged determination and a mammoth £1 million repair bill, the Waterfront re-opened its doors on 25th March 2015.
Losing the building would not just have meant the end for one of Plymouth’s main pub venues but also left a gap in the history of this world-renowned sailing city. The Waterfront is a Grade II listed building steeped in maritime history. It was formerly the home of the Royal Western Yacht Club, founded in 1827, an organisation that continues to play a leading role in the sport of sailing. It introduced short-handed races including the Single-Handed TransAtlantic Race, most famously won by Sir Francis Chichester in Gypsy Moth II.
At the helm of the newly restored Waterfront are well-known publicans John Milan and Steve Bellman who, together with their team, are responsible for the success of one of Cornwall’s most iconic inns, the multi-award-winning Pandora Inn near Falmouth.
Speaking of the challenges that lie ahead at the Waterfront, Steve said, “John, myself and the whole team are incredibly excited to be taking over such a landmark venue and we aim to bring the successful formula we employ at the Pandora to Plymouth.”
And what a successful formula it has proved! The Waterfront was named ‘Pub of the Year’ in the 2019 Devon Tourism Awards. It then went on to picked up a Silver Award in the ‘Pub of the Year’ category in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards.