This corner landmark is one of the city’s oldest hotels and a notable feature of both East Terrace and Rundle Street. The Stag has been on this site since 1849, when it was first licensed by George Taylor.

In its early years, the Stag was the site of markets on East Terrace. Stockyards, a weighbridge, and large stables accommodated the horses and vehicles of the livestock and produce buyers, who made the hotel their headquarters almost daily.

This hotel is unique amongst the city's historic pubs in not having been altered during the boom decade of the 1880s. However, in 1902, it was sold to Thomas Richardson and the following year it was significantly rebuilt. The redevelopment was prompted by the opening of the adjacent Adelaide Fruit and Produce Exchange and the new business from market traders.

Architects Daniel Garlick and Herbert Jackman built the new two-storey building with its return verandah and balcony in the Queen Anne style. This highly decorative style was popular at the time of Australian Federation in 1901. Other examples are the nearby Woodman’s Inn and the Adelaide Fruit and Produce Exchange, which were built around the same time. The tiled roof cladding and cast-iron balustrading is typical of the time, while the dormer windows, projecting from the sloping roof, are unusual.

The Stag is still a busy landmark hotel at the Eastern end of the popular Rundle Street restaurant, café and bar precinct.