CORNWALL – Even though it had changed names twice, locals still know it as Remington’s.
The local bar is back with a new name that still pays homage to it roots.
Rem’s Tap House held its grand opening Thursday.
In an interview with Cornwall Newswatch, co-owner Cory Linthorne says he was approached by the building owner in April about coming back after a couple unsuccessful restaurant ventures.
Linthorne had owned Remington’s Deli & Bar from 2005-2009 and also Vu Night Spot, which he sold last year.
He is joined by Robin Sauve, who started out as a dish washer at Remington’s 10 years ago.
“I seen him (Sauve) go through culinary school and he was running a pub where I live up in Perth, Ontario so when I approached him we decided that we’d get together and come back and do it,” Linthorne said.
Rem’s has 13 employees – four full-time and the balance are part-time.
He says Rem’s is concentrating on craft beer.
“Craft beer is slowly taking off so we want to offer those kind of beers and we’re doing it with a lot of local beers…we’re doing stuff from Eastern Ontario,” he said. “We really wanted to find a theme that was as local as possible,” Linthorne stated.
While Linthorne believes the entire “farm-to-fork” model is great, it’s not realistic in Canada, much less the Cornwall market, because of availability of produce.
The local flavour extends to the meats from a Martintown butcher, desserts from Cakes & More in Cornwall, and even the tables, made from boards from a barn in St. Andrews West, that were refinished locally. They’re also looking at offering wine with Wine Kitz.
“We’re trying to have a different flavour profile from the other restaurants in town. We don’t want to be pretentious…but we want to offer the same quality of food and the same selection of alcohols and beers,” Linthorne said.
As for the building, he says they are coordinating with the landlord and the city to change the front doors to garage-style doors and renovate the patio.
“We just wanted to make small, subtle changes that people would come in and go ‘Wow, this looks different but it’s still Remington’s’ because it’s always going to be Remington’s,” Linthorne said.
He says it was hard to see the establishment at 101 Montreal Road (corner of Montreal Road and Albert Street) struggle.
“I applaud anybody who gets into the restaurant business, but when I came here to check the place out and try to support, I was very disappointed. It didn’t have any atmosphere or character,” he said.
“It actually hurt. I put four years of blood sweat and tears into this place.”
He says, in their first week, patrons in the east end are very receptive.
“I love Cornwall as a market and I look forward to entertaining people,” Linthorne said with a chuckle.