The Smugglers Pub and Cafe is famous for its hearty meals, foaming craft ales and great wines all served up in a unique old world atmosphere. Located within easy walking distance from Nelson’s Tahunanui Beach and set amongst the areas’ busy motel district, Smugglers is ideally placed to cater for your group no matter how large or small. Food is available all day and into the evening with extensive snack, lunch and dinner menus including gluten free and children’s menus for young smugglers. We stock a variety of regional, national and international wines along with a great range of craft beers from the Mac’s, Speights, Emerson’s, & Panhead breweries. International beers from Guinness, Hoegaarden and Stella Artois complete our extensive range.
We are open seven days a week including most holidays and absolutely no holiday surcharges ever. So come on down relax and enjoy the award winning atmosphere that is so unique to Smugglers.
Staff and management are friendly and knowledgeable and are on hand to assist you with your requirements.
Contact us to make a booking or if you require any further information.
Who better to oversee the proceedings at Smugglers Pub than one of the most gracious and swashbuckling smugglers in history -Dr Syn, The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. Doctor Syn is one of the most interesting and unusual figures of the 18th Century. A tall, slender, charismatic man with a commanding presence, Dr. Syn was a man who would have succeeded in any career. Syn was a brilliant scholar and rousing preacher as well as being one of the finest swordsmen, riders, and seamen in all of England. Unfortunately, Syn’s promising career was cut short when he was betrayed in love, left his calling as a Vicar and became a pirate to pursue a quest for vengeance across the world.
Years later Syn would return to the little town of Dymchurch-Under-the-Wall, seeking to resume the quiet life of a country parson, but his past would not let him go. Learning that many of his parishioners were involved in smuggling, Syn resolved to protect them from the agents of the King’s Revenue. Assuming the masked identity of the Scarecrow, Syn led the smugglers in a series of adventures that rival those of Robin Hood, D’Artagnian and his companions, or El Zorro in their daring and their success.
Ironically, it may be in the masked Scarecrow that we see the truest picture of this complex man. This guise allowed him to combine the compassion of the clergyman with the cunning and the swashbuckling style of a pirate captain.
Located within easy walking distance of Nelson City’s Tahunanui Beach and set amongst the area’s busy motel district, the business has been a big success since its passionate owners established the pub in 2004
About the Creating of the Smugglers Pub and Cafe:
Local artist and builder, the late John Gosney, sourced original wooden beams and thick steel riveted brackets from old South Island West Coast bridges and wharfs to create the authentic pub.
Two life-sized reproduction ship’s cannons greet patrons at the main entrance doors. Inside, the roof space is awash with fishing nets, an old clinker row boat and a life sized skeleton playing a piano! A motley crew of replica smugglers, seagulls – and a large rat – sets the scene of the bad old days of pirates and smuggling. Assorted old English signs, paintings and tapestries hang on the restaurant and bar walls depicting scenes from days gone by.
The restaurant’s feature table seats up to 24 people and the scene is set for them to eat, drink and be merry, Great for those birthday party’s, staff work do’s or just a group of friends getting together for a night out. But watch out, a set of large macrocarpa stocks sits at one end and is still in use on badly behaved customers!
The bar is made of old rivet steel brackets finished with a polished concrete top. The beer taps were locally made in the shape of two wooden treasure chests to fit in with the pub’s smuggling theme.
An aquarium with tropical fish is an attraction at the rear entrance to the building, depicting an old sunken galleon. A rear courtyard has old beams, barrels, a leaner and tables off the car park.
Smugglers Pub and Café was voted national supreme award winner at the
2005 Hospitality Association New Zealand Awards of Excellence.