Susan Bates poked her nose into a new pub opening on the Danforth and files this report…
Being a DECA board member and on the Business Revitalization Team, I wanted to learn more about the stores along the Danny and in some cases, the lack of active stores. I walked by a restaurant that has been an eyesore for years. I looked in the restaurant and it was undergoing a major renovation. I knocked on the door and was greeted by a man, who spoke with an Irish accent. He explained that he bought the restaurant and was renovating it to turn it into an Irish pub to be named Kilt and Harp. Yes, one of my dreams had come true!
Mervyn Wallace is from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Twenty-two years ago he left behind the violence and poor economic times and planned to immigrate to Vancouver. Merv had a stop over in Toronto and decided to stay; in fact he yet to visit Vancouver. He loves Toronto – the people, the diversity and the business opportunities. He always wanted to an open Irish pub and opened the Kilt and Keg with his girlfriend at Greenwood and Danforth a couple of years ago. It was a success so they decided to open another pub and walked east along the Danforth looking for a location. They saw the Carmelina Condos sign at Woodbine and Danforth and figured those condo residents would appreciate a good Irish pub. His philosophy is “Build a pub and they will come to drink”. Since he started renovating, people have been knocking on his door asking about his pub and then encouraging him to open as soon as possible.
Merv gave me a tour of his pub-in-progress. The walls are red and the wainscot is black with new hardwood floors. Bar ledges are installed for those who like to stand and drink and there will be bar stools for those who don’t. In the back room will be pool tables and darts. The front window will be replaced with a window that will roll up to enjoy the warmer weather. A tour of the kitchen showed brand new equipment and his assistant assures me that the kitchen will be beyond clean. Twelve beer taps will be available along with pub food. A few doors down, Celena’s Bakery, will be providing their English fare skills and goodies for the pub. Music, Irish and otherwise, will be an occasional feature of the Kilt and Harp. Explaining the significance of the pub’s name; Kilt represents the Irish and Scottish and Harp is a beloved and historical Irish emblem.
Mark your calendars for the “soft” opening day – March 7, to be followed by the grand opening in April. Be sure to drop by for a pint and give a warm welcome. I’ll definitely be there fulfilling my dream.