Patrick McMurray, world renowned oyster shucker and owner of Starfish Oyster Bed and Grill here in Toronto, has recently started a blog that has an announcement about a new pub that he'll be opening, also in March.
From his blog:
Coming in March 2009I contacted Patrick today and he provided me with some more information - and boy, is it exciting!
ShuckerPaddy is busy building The Ceili Cottage, an Irish Local. Like the name implies, The Cottage will be an intimate spot for authentic Irish fare, of food, drink, music, and good old "craic".
There will be a 70 seat patio come summertime, to accompany the 70 seat Bar & Cottage, where you will find up to 20 taps, local, and Irish food - oysters, mussels, salmon, cured country ham, cheese, veg.
Trivia nights, live music, Literature, Hurling (and other sports on the tele), The Ceili Kilt Club, Matchmaker - ShuckerPaddy will lend a hand on a nightly basis, festivals, fun and frolicking.
McMurray has some big plans for this new endeavour. "My goal is to be open an Irish Local. Not a pub, restaurant or bar, but an Irish local," he said over the phone. "We'll feature Irish food in product and style and will have no deep fryer in the joint." He continued, "I want to create a community resting place that has a strong focus on the hospitable Irish culture while running it as a 'mom and pop' operation."
So what will the beer line-up look like? Well McMurray states that his personal goal is to have 20 draught lines, which would include a 'stout bar'. "I am entertaining the idea of a stout bar that would feature three Irish stouts and three Ontario/Quebec stouts that could see a bit of rotation."
That would leave fourteen open draught lines that McMurray would like to evenly split between ales and lagers from the small breweries of Ontario. "I have ten draught lines at Starfish that showcase many craft beers and the Ceili Cottage will be no different."
There will also be an Oyster Stout that Durham County produces for McMurray. "Bruce (owner/brewer of Durham) makes the Oyster Stout using his Black Katt stout. He adds oyster liquid to the beer and man, it sells well." It will also be available at the Cottage.
McMurray informed me that he has no plans to have bottled beer available at the local. "I would like to go strictly with kegs for a couple of reasons: 1- to cut down on excess waste, and 2- I want to offer the freshest beer available. I want to have the cold fridge right behind the bar, keeping short draught lines; shorter draught lines, fresher beer." "I also plan on serving real ale (cask conditioned beer) right from the start and hopefully I'll be able to add more casks down the line," stated McMurray while I wiped the drool from my chin.
While McMurray personally wants to have twenty beers on tap, he understands that he'll have to take it slow to see if the community will support so many choices. He'll also be entertaining the idea of beer dinners and tastings.
There's more. McMurray plans to create a Kilt club (incorporating a wee bit o' Scottish culture) that will meet regularly at the local over some pints. There will also be dancing, live Irish music, piano playing, and much more. "Irish locals are meant to establish communication between individuals, talking, socializing and being together. There will be 1 television, but it will only come on when there is a major event and even then the volume will be kept low."
So to recap; twenty draught lines proposed, a stout bar, Ontario craft beer, real Irish characteristics, independently owned and operated, dances, oyster shucking, kilt clubs and more. A true local coming to Leslieville and dangerously close to my home.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.