What we love about Mount Barker and the greater Adelaide Hills community, is that there is always a great story behind the people who live and work here. We interviewed the team at The Barker Hotel to learn more about one of the pillars of the Adelaide Hills.
How did your story start? What was the driving force in restoring the Hotel to make it the stunning establishment it is today?
Originally named the Scotch Thistle, the hotel had been operating in the heart of Mt Barker since 1840. Our story in Mt Barker began when we bought the beautiful old historic hotel in 2003 which we saw was brimming full of potential. The town was beginning to grow and we wanted to provide a more modern experience but still, retain the classic charm of the venue. Once we had finalised our plans in 2007, we worked extremely closely with the local council over several years to ensure all aspects of renovations retained the look and feel of the old pub down to the last balustrade. We officially finished the hotel renovations in early 2011, and that year was awarded Best Bistro/Casual Dining, Best Bar Presentation & Service, and Best Redeveloped Hotel by the South Australian Hotels Association at the Annual Awards Gala.
Why the Adelaide Hills? What do you love about the area? Particularly, Mount Barker?
Mount Barker is a beautiful spot in the Adelaide Hills, and leafy Gawler Street in the heart of Mt. Barker is such an idyllic location. The town and community continue to grow because it offers the perfect mix of lifestyle and convenience. It has become a fantastic hub for the people and businesses in the Adelaide Hills.
What have you learned about your clientele?
Mt Barker is actually one of the fastest growing towns in Australia, so our clientele is very diverse! Our customers love to support local so we offer great local foods and wines extensively on the menus. Our customer favourite is still our mouth-watering pub classic chicken schnitzel!
What is your favourite item on the menu and why?
Our brilliant Head Chef Matt Hemming updates our bistro menu seasonally. At the moment my favourite dish on the bistro menu would have to be the Twice cooked pork belly with cauliflower puree, braised fennel, duck fat Brussel sprouts and a sticky Hills Cider sauce. The perfect winter dish to enjoy by the fireplace! Although I do love our super popular Wednesday Bump Day Burgers too!
We thank Elise, John or Ashleigh for taking the time to share with us. We love The Barker, and we know that you will too! We hope that your story begins here, living at Amblemead!