Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Meet Scott Connor: The Local Gastropub - Barrie, ON

Scott Connor - The Local Gastropub
Meet Scott Connor, the Owner and Chef of The Local Gastropub in Barrie, ON, steps away from the beautiful Kempenfelt Bay and Barrie's waterfront boardwalk.

The Local opened in 2009 and has become the spot in Barrie to go to for a craft beer. Traditionally a very MolsonCoors city, Barrie pubs and restaurants are slowing starting to bring in more flavourful products and the Local Gastropub is out in front. Connor, a talented chef from Scotland, has put together a terrific food menu to complement his beer selection, one that focuses on local ingredients that get prepared fresh each day.

How long have you operated your establishment?
Established in May 2009

How did you get into the hospitality industry?
I had always aspired to be a chef and my first position landed me in the Highlands of Scotland in a Michelin Star restaurant. My Chef explained that he could not afford to have me on his team and asked me if I would be willing to work for $50 ($70) a week and I agreed in order to show I was willing to do anything for a chance to become a successful cook.

What is the best part of operating a pub?
After 20 years in fine dining you deal with high expectations. Is your foie gras cooked to perfection? Is your wine of the highest caliber? People's expectations are not as high when they walk into a pub, so when we provide home cooked pub food with great ingredients, local beers and friendly service, guests feel at home and are really surprised at the welcome that is extended to them. So when you see the smile on their face, you know it’s genuine. That makes it all worth it!

What is the worst?
When the beer runs out!

How do you go about selecting the beer for your establishment?
There is a show on cable that showcases utilizing products within a one hundred mile radius of their location. We attempt to do the same, so when you come to the local 11 of our 12 beers are all from within one hundred miles and 5 are all Ontario craft brews.

Where did the name of your establishment come from?
In Scotland we call our pubs locals. It’s a place where you meet up with your friends in your favorite watering hole for a few pints or jars as we commonly call them.

What has been the biggest change in the beer industry since you started your business?
Beer was always huge when I was younger and there was a vast selection even back then, but I believe the biggest difference from then till now is beer has really broadened its horizons. The larger companies have just became the norm and young beer drinking entrepreneurs are pushing the envelope with flavors and food pairings, making beer a definite competitor to wine when enjoying a meal or just sipping back on a citrus beer cooler in the summer.

If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be?
Do away with processed food and mass produced beer, to one day be an advocate to help promote this in the world. We are so inclined to eat and drink what is easy, versus taking a chance on some of the amazing food and drink experiences that are out there.

What do you get up to when you’re not at your establishment?
We close on Mondays for family day (My wonderful wife and I have a 4 year old girl named Bowie), which we feel is important not only for our lifestyle, but also for those who we employ. Normally it revolves around day outings to the beach in the summer and winter sports in the snowy season. Family is important as it keeps us grounded so when we do have free time, it’s spent together.

If you're not drinking at your own bar, where do you head to for a beer?
Usually a cold beer at home after a long day work does the trick, but we are always on the lookout for new up and coming spots. We like to head out now and then and hunt down a relaxing spot in the surrounding area and support local small pubs like ours.

Name the last beer you consumed?
Coors light!!! Just kidding…lol. The last beer I consumed was an IPA from Flying Monkeys Brewery here in Barrie. Very pungent citrus nose with a mellow bitter end with everything in between.

The Local Gastropub
37 Dunlop West @ Maple
Barrie, Ontario L4N 1A1
705 252 9220

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome spot right by the Bay!
The best pub food in Barrie by far and quite frankly North of the city. If anyone reads this, be sure to check out The Local Gastropub and it should not be missed by any pub lover.

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