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ByWard Market's Highlander Pub closing after 18 years

The pub's owner says the business has survived a lot in the last five years, but COVID-19 was really the straw that broke the camel's back.
2020-06-11 highlander pub byward market
The Highlander Pub on Rideau Street, Ottawa. Photo/ Google Maps

As some of Ottawa's restaurant and bar patios prepare to reopen this weekend, a popular watering hole in the ByWard Market will not be among them.

After 18 years on Rideau Street, The Highlander Pub has announced it's closing its doors for good.

"It really started in 2015 when the Rideau Centre doubled its size and we had construction across the street, but we managed to survive that," says owner Ken Goodhue. "In 2016, [the city] had to blast through 100 feet of granite for the LRT station and we survived that. In 2017, we had a sinkhole [downtown] and we survived that. In 2018, they had to have pumper trucks to pump out the LRT throughout the summer and we survived that."

Goodhue continues, "Then the LRT opened and business started to return to normal, and then unfortunately the [pub's] senior partner passed away, and that, combined with the tearing up of Rideau Street, combined with the coronavirus, it was like the perfect storm and we decided that we couldn't possibly continue the business."

A message from the pub on social media thanks the community for its support over nearly two decades.

The good news, says the pub's management, is the Highlander will be moving its collection of single malt scotch to its other location -- Deacon Brodies on Elgin Street.


Mike Vlasveld

About the Author: Mike Vlasveld

Mike Vlasveld, Digital Editor, CityNews Ottawa & the Valley
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