Next St. Patrick’s Day, Kris Potts hopes to raise his glass in the Irish pub he and his brother are busy renovating at the corner of Gerrard Street and Bowmore Road.
Built in a former house at the end of a residential block, it has a fitting name: The Cornerhouse Irish Pub.
But before it can open, people in the neighbouring houses must vote yea or nay to a side patio along Bowmore.
The pub also needs a business license from the city. Potts applied for one in December, but he says it’s taking longer than expected,
“I thought it was going to be a walk in the park,” Potts said, noting that although the pub is in an area zoned residential, the site was recently home to McCarthy’s Irish Pub and, before that, Sedona Jane’s Café. The site has had a variance allowing for businesses to set up there since 1999.
But while many locals support the Cornerhouse, including the Beach Hill Neighbourhood Association, others object to once again having a pub on the block.
Last fall, seven residents testified to Ontario’s liquor license tribunal that the previous pub was a source of noise and drunken behaviour.
But the tribunal ruled in favour of the license, with conditions, noting that no one from the nearby Bowmore Road Public School nor a neighbouring daycare ever complained about McCarthy’s.
Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon said at this point, she is waiting to see how residents vote in the patio poll.
If they vote against, she noted that the decision would likely be appealed to Toronto and East York Community Council.
“We want our streets animated, but we want to be respectful of residents, especially their sleep hours,” McMahon said. “So we need to find a happy medium.”
Potts said he has spoken at several public meetings about plans for the Cornerhouse. The first drew about 80 people, he said, and sometimes the debate has been heated.
But he also said he has collected 600 signatures in favour of the pub, which he hopes will become a popular family spot.
“We knew the building, we knew the area,” he said. “I mean, we are sixth-generation Beachers.”
Together, Kris and his brother run Norseman Construction, a home renovations company.
Despite their company name, and Kris’ own – Kristofer Norman Viking Potts – the two have Irish roots.
The first person in the Potts family to immigrate to Canada came from Ireland in 1913, and settled into a home on Hambly Avenue.
Besides the oak stairs, long bar, fireplace, wainscoting, and exposed beams they have built inside, Potts plans to hang some old family photos – like the one of his great, great-grandfather welcoming his sons back from the First World War.
“It reminds me of my parents’ living room,” he said. “That’s what it feels like.”
Along with his own construction background, Potts said the pub and its new kitchen will benefit from Kevin’s 20 years in managing restaurants for Marriott and Sheridan hotels.
The brothers also co-own the Cornerhouse with a couple from Donegal, Ireland, who will help manage it.
Potts is still hoping to see his dream pub open this spring, and said he bought the building next door for a possible expansion, if all goes well.
“We want to become a real restaurant,” he said. “Essentially, what we’re up against is a lot of bureaucracy that has tied us down.”
Did you enjoy this article? Become a Beach Metro Community News Supporter today! For 50 years, we have worked hard to be the eyes and ears in your community, inform you of upcoming events, and let you know what and who is making a difference. We cover the big stories as well as the little things that often matter the most. CLICK HERE to support your Beach Metro Community News!
I am certainly looking forward to enjoying this patio with my neighbours.
I am really looking forward to having some good food and drinks with co-workers and family. Keep up the good work, it looks amazing from what I can see.
Where can I find the poll regarding the patio?
This is regarding “The Cornerhouse Pub” application.
I was under the impression that their application was refused and could not be readdressed until March 2016!
When there is a negative response, re-polling for the same purpose may not take place
until two years have passed from the closing date of the previous poll. As a result,
no further application for boulevard café privileges at this location
can be accepted until March 12, 2016, two years from the closing date of the public poll.
I have now been informed that they are holding a meeting on July 17, 2014 (below).
The Corner House Pub, 1801 Gerrard St., will host a meeting about their adapted plans based upon feedback from the community, including the elimination of a proposed patio on the south side, July 17 at 8 p.m. at the Fairmount Community Centre. The purpose of this meeting is for the community to come out and see the new plans and to learn more about this new restaurant-style pub in Beach Hill
Let’s put a stop to this silliness! It is not welcome!
I am hopeful that the neighbourhood friendly promise stands up after it is opened and I’m hoping to become a customer if the promise holds true! Other than one public meeting — and this very article, I have found it difficult to find any information about this business and even how to support it. Where do you even find this petition to sign it? I think a little marketing/communications help could be of use here. 😉
Contact Mary-Margaret McMahon at:
100 Queen St. W., Suite B28, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Phone: 416-392-1376 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
According to the new Zoning by laws this location is not zoned to be a pub. I think they have to go for rezoning. So Im thinking it will be a while. I guess its like the restaurant on Queen street story a while back- they should have done due diligence before taking over?
Its a shame but I guess the rules have to be followed.
There are a dirth of friendly, inexpensive restaurants in this neighbourhood; one that we can walk to with good food. Bar rooms are not restaurants! There are too many bars and not enough restaurants. Say Yes to this place please!
We would love this pub to open in our neighborhood and we are local residents just around the corner. Is there anything we can do to support you? You can email me directly at email@example.com . We would be happy to. Kind Regards, Kat
The pubs in the past have failed at this location for a good reason, and I am sure that this one will too!
I went to this pub last weekend. It was lovely and I’ll be going back for sure. I wished that the patio was open, but it’s not licensed yet. I can’t believe all the NIMBY’s whining about a small decent pub in the neighbourhood. It’s not a party place. You couldn’t even fit enough people in there to make it loud.
Great atmosphere, great food (from what I’ve had so far) and decent selection of beer on tap. Walking distance to home.
I wish them the best and I’ll support them the whole way.