Capital Pint by Travis Persaud is published every second Thursday at OttawaMagazine.com. Follow Travis on Twitter @tpersaud.
It’s opening. Finally.
Les 3 Brasseurs — or The 3 Brewers as it’s known this side of the border — is set to open its first Ottawa location at 240 Sparks St. on December 27.
It’s been over a year since the brewpub announced it would set up shop in the C.D. Howe building.
Originally planned to open this past spring, delays with construction (and probably a big roll of red tape that comes with plunking down in a government-owned building), kept pushing the date further and further back.
“It’s almost better that we’re opening when we are,” says Tom Arkalis, Les 3 Brasseurs’ supervisor of operations for Ontario and Quebec. “It will give our staff a chance to get used to the flow of everything.”
Arkalis says they chose the location because there aren’t many brewpubs in the city, and they know Sparks Street is a tourist draw during the summer. He’s particularly excited about the chicken and rib cook-off that happens along the pedestrian mall: “It will be right outside; it will go great with our beer.”
But what about during the winter, when pedestrian traffic slows down after 5 p.m.? “We know there are some outdoor winter activities in the city, particularly Winterlude,” Arkalis says. “We’re not familiar with the area so we don’t know about the flow and traffic. To be honest, we don’t want to focus on the marketing side until we know how things transpire [after our first winter here].”
It may sound like they’re just winging it, setting up in an area that they admittedly don’t know well. But Les 3 Brasseurs is definitely serious about making an impact in Ottawa.
The company opened their first brewpub in Northern France in 1986. In nearly three decades they’ve expanded to 28 locations across France — including islands connected with France such as Tahiti — and in Quebec and Ontario.
The Sparks Street location is only their second in Ontario (the other is in Toronto), but they’ve already begun construction on a second brewpub in Kanata. It will be a standalone building, part of the Kanata Centrum shopping centre
“It’s going to open in late spring or early summer of 2013,” Arkalis says. “So we really want to make a good impression here at Sparks Street.”
And he thinks they’re off to a great start. “I’ve done six openings with The Three Brewers and [Ottawa has] the most qualified group of individuals in the service industry that I’ve come across.”
If you’ve been to any of their locations, then you’ll know what to expect, as the menu remains the same across all their brewpubs. They will have six beers on tap at all times: their four staple ales that simply go by their colour — White, Blonde, Amber and Brown — and then a rotating seasonal beer and a “special brew” that changes each month. La Belle Provence and La Triple, two brews available only in bottle, will also be on hand.
“We have a winning formula,” Arkalis says. “We have quality beer, service and ambience.”