Portside Pub & Eatery in Portland on track for February opening after ‘quite a bit of hubbub’

The Portside Pub and Eatery in Portland is slated to open in February. – Andy Wang/Unsplash

The Portside Pub & Eatery is ready to move forward with a grand opening in February after some heated social media chatter this week blaming the Township of Rideau Lakes for the delay.

“If the township wants speculation and rumours/attacks against them to cease, perhaps not attempting to silence or withhold information from its residents is a better path forward,” wrote Stephanie Kay Gee on Coun. Paula Banks’ post about pub.

The feedback shared on socials prompted Banks to seek clarification with staff and she encouraged others looking for the same to reach out to the clerk.

The township’s chief administrative officer, Shellee Fournier, was reached for comment by this publication earlier this week, and she indicated she’d be meeting with the pub owner to help rectify the situation. More information would come forward, Fournier noted in an email.

During a meeting of the township’s planning and advisory committee on Jan. 24, Mayor Arie Hoogenboom said he wanted to clear up any issues that residents may have over the pub’s delay in opening.

Hoogenboom said he’d been away in Toronto and Costa Rica and was just getting back to work.

The mayor asked Malcolm Norwood, manager of development services, about the situation.

“I understand while I was away there was quite a bit of hubbub when there was an indication that the property might not be opening. I understand it will now be opening,” he said. “From my discussions with staff the issues have been resolved.”

A press release was being prepared by the CAO, Hoogenboom said, and circulated to councillors and anyone who had made inquiries about it.

“That’s a good news story, if I can call it that,” Hoogenboom said. “We certainly don’t want to be accused of being anti-business and it’s good to see that the staff treated this as a priority while I was away. I believe it’s been mostly resolved.”

Norwood said it’s staff’s position to always work with businesses and residents toward their success with building applications and this was no different.

“I think for the most part, we have a path forward,” he said.

The release from the township stated that Jason Moore, owner of the pub, is pleased to “jointly advise the public that the Portside Pub is scheduled to open in February.”

Both parties came to a mutual agreement on licensing matters and the restaurant will open in a few weeks, the release stated.

“The township is excited to welcome this new business to Portland,” Fournier and Hoogenboom jointly stated in the release. “The addition of the Portside Pub to this waterfront community will add yet another social venue to the busy hamlet.”

Moore said he’s excited to finally unveil the establishment to the public.

“It’s taken many months from vision to execution,” he said, “and we think the public is going to be pleased with the venue. It brings a nautical taste to Rideau Lakes, and I couldn’t be prouder of the results.”

A formal grand opening will be announced in the coming weeks.

This news was met with collective congratulations from residents.

“This is fantastic news,” noted Kim Buchanan. “Welcome Jason and his team.”
Tara De Long said the news was “amazing” and she can’t wait to enjoy a meal.

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