Last call for Hooley's Pub, bar closes amid Elgin Street construction
After 14 years, Hooley's Pub is calling it quits.
Christina Succi, CTV Ottawa
Published Thursday, August 8, 2019 3:51PM EDT
It's last call for an Ottawa' staple, as Hooley's Pub officially closed it's doors Tuesday.
The majority owner of the bar says the construction on Elgin Street left him with no choice.
"Uber drivers, taxi drivers don't even know where to go anymore," said Dale Hill.
"You're not going to drive down here Friday, Saturday night, look out there, there's no place to park"
The $36.3-million Elgin Street Renewal Project to replace aging infrastructure closed a main stretch of the downtown artery to vehicles beginning in 2019.
The construction is scheduled to be finished by fall of 2020.
"Who's going to want to come down to Hooley's," said Hill.
"You don't have deep enough pockets to carry this on for another year until this street is done, if it's done," said Hill.
Hill says the spot used to see upwards of 350 people in the bar, now they are lucky if more than 10, or 20 patrons show up.
Despite the odd night with favourable numbers, Hill says it just wasn't financially viable.
"January, February, March, you can see the slide in revenue, the traffic was just going down," said Hill.
"Margins in this industry are small in it's best situation, so when you start carving out 10 or 15, 20 per cent of your traffic, that's your whole margin."
Those living in the area were disappointed, but not surprised.
"Obviously there needs to be construction but at what cost, our local businesses?"
An emotional Hill tells CTV the decision was a difficult one.
"It was a great part of my life," said Hill.
""These 14 years were a lot of fun."
Hill says he is out of the restaurant and bar business for now, but his partners have not ruled out re-opening a smaller bar at the same location sometime in the future.