Being a born-and-raised Dutchman, I thoroughly enjoyed the last two FIFA World Cups, where we finished as runners-up and in third place, respectively (I’ll conveniently ignore the last few Euro Cups though). A huge part of that enjoyment came from watching the majority of the games at the Georgetown (1159 Bank Street). Especially as the Georgetown was the unofficial-official hangout for Dutch soccer fans and was nicknamed “the Dutch Lair” on game day (the Dutch soccer emblem is a lion).
Although the look and feel of the Georgetown is much more like a traditional pub, on game days the large screens on either side of the bar would make sure that this was THE place to be to watch a game in OOS. I don’t think anyone would ever claim that the Georgetown was a foodie mecca, but with a decent breakfast menu and serviceable pub fare, it was certainly no punishment to spend a few hours watching any kind of game.
After an impressive 12 year run, the Georgetown had its last day of service on June 8th, 2017. The owners decided their season had come to an end and it was time for them to move on. The final date was certainly no coincidence, as it was the birthday of founder Mike.
I will definitely miss the Georgetown in all its quirkiness and especially its game-day atmosphere.
With a rich history of previous occupants at 1159 Bank Street that includes a car dealership and a St. Hubert, it’s always interesting to see what might come into a space like the Georgetown’s. Well, we’re in luck. It’s not going to be a car dealership, or a fast food chain. Instead, the location will continue on in the tradition of the Georgetown with the opening of a second location of The Senate. No, not THE Senate, the Senate, a bright looking pub in the Byward Market (33 Clarence Street).
Like the Georgetown, the Senate’s strong point will be its focus on showing sports games and events on big screens. But owner Steve Ryan was quick to add that the Senate is not just going to be a sports bar. First and foremost they want it to be a pub to go and hang out with friends, family, and neighbours. To enhance this community feel, they plan to not only have big screen TVs for game time, but also add a slew of interactive games to the “menu”. The current plan is to have 1 pool table, 2 foosball tables, 3 dart boards, a shuffleboard, a Big Buck game, a (sports themed) pinball machine, and possibly a bubble hockey game. Consider me excited.
In addition to this interactive games menu, the Senate also plans to offer an exciting new pub menu. This menu will of course feature pub classics like wings, nachos, and burgers, but the Senate is planning to work with an executive chef to add a few exciting new items that will go a bit beyond the standard pub repertoire.
And if you’re planning to hang out with a group of friends or have a small event: the backroom will be available for private booking.
Obviously some of these changes will require a fair bit of work, and the current goal is to open in late August. I look forward to checking them out and strongly hope the Senate will once again become the Dutch Lair whenever Oranje plays their games.
If you’ve walked on Bank Street in the last few weeks, you may have noticed the decorative paper that is up in the old Three Little Monkeys location (1154 Bank Street). The people behind Oat Couture Oatmeal Cafe (!) are hard at work to take over this space in the near future. I will make sure to stop in for some sampling once they open and will likely write them up at a later date.
The space next to Oat Couture also has brown paper up, but so far has seen slightly less activity. The latest I have heard is that this space will become a furniture store.
Observant OOS residents will also have noticed that the Wine Rack store (1105 Bank Street) recently had a “for lease” sign in the window, the store closed permanently on June 25th. Here’s hoping that selling wine and beer in supermarkets will expand soon and that Cedars can start carrying some…
Erik van der Torre has lived in Old Ottawa South for over eight years. He is a member of the OSCA board, the Traffic & Safety Committee, and Hopewell Avenue PS’ parent council.
Originally published in the July-August 2017 OSCAR.