The Black Dog Pub has a New Owner
by Peter Brannan
Having spent our young adult life in Britain, with its warm and welcoming village pubs, coming to Canada in the late 50s was something of a culture shock. There were these cold stark places, with sawdust-covered tiled floors, and sections labelled "Men" and "Ladies and Escorts." We almost gave up on drinking altogether, but not quite. There was the old Pilot Tavern, formerly up on Yonge Street, and the Silver Rail down opposite the old Eaton's store.
Buying your bottle of favourite tipple came as something of a shock also. You lined up in front of this steel-cage-protected counter, selected your choice of liquor from a printed list and wrote the applicable number on a slip of paper. You signed your name assuring of your adulthood and the fact that you weren't on drugs or had a criminal record, and were handed your purchase hidden in a brown paper bag.
Then we found the Rouge Valley Inn with its cosy bars and log fire and we were delighted, but our pleasure was short lived when fire destroyed the building. The Robin Hood Inn on Altona Road wasn't as cosy or welcoming, but it sufficed until it was closed some years ago and now, I notice, is being replaced by sub division homes.
Finally, Hallelujah! The old Esso Gas Station was transformed into The Black Dog, a delightfully warm and inviting pub, complete with log fire, not to mention a lovely and welcoming young staff. (Forgive me for telling the story once again that my brother-in-law ran that Esso station in the 60s and I changed the transmission on my 1952 Ford while it was up on the hoist in what is now the main bar.
Now, after years of successful operation of The Black Dog, providing food and service second to none, Ken Reuter has moved on. George Voulgaris, the new owner of the Black Dog, had visited the pub on many occasions, and been intrigued by the friendliness of the staff and the caliber of its patrons. Ken had the Pub for sale for two years, which George was able to find out while investigating other pubs in different locations. But he always came back to the "Dog" and to this special West Rouge community.
Having had 30 years' experience in the restaurant/bar business, George promises to maintain the fine tradition of service excellence we have enjoyed at the "Dog" for many years. He is delighted to be here in the Rouge and looks forward to the challenges and opportunities for this landmark Pub in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Dog!
The Black Dog Pub Announces New Website…www.blackdogpub.tv
After winning over 60 awards for Best patio, atmosphere, wings, Pub, pub fare, full service restaurant, service…for example…The Black Dog Pub is charging forward again.
This summer they are launching a new ‘increased value’ menu and a new promotion featuring a backyard patio smoker and 6 foot barbecue. The backyard dining experience is enhanced by beautiful gardens and a waterfall, creating a very relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere.
The Black Dog Pub also provides full service catering, for any size of event. They have catered to groups from over 10000 people and also to groups in private in-house functions for 10-50 people. New to the catering service is the before mentioned barbecue, which can be transported to any school, business, park or home.
The next charge forward is that Live Music has returned to Thursday nights. The rock and roll / pop bands start the party at 9pm and play well into the evening. A new large HD television is now in use to allow the screening of the FedEx Cup Golf tournaments, Premier Division Soccer, NHL playoffs and the Blue Jays.
Q - Why is the Black Dog so successful?
A- “You area a stranger here…but once” has been their motto since 1993. They have always prided themselves on “Customer Recognition and Appreciation”. From opening day, every guest who walked in the doors received a genuine greeting and a warm welcome into the “Black Dog Pub’s Home”, and the experience just improved from there. Their highly trained staff makes each experience exceptional. The Black Dog Pub is an ideal place you’ll want to bring family, friends and clients you want to impress.
Q- Who is the Black Dog Pub’s clientele?
A- The kind of person who goes to the Black Dog Pub knows and appreciates quality. Food, drink and service are what the Black Dog Pub has earned its reputation over since 1993 and has won over 60 awards for. The age of the clientele vary, although most are forty-plus, the one thing they all have in common is the same attitude for appreciating the finer things. Attire is hat free and smart-casual, where happy and friendly people come from the GTA and beyond. The Black Dog is known in all four corners of the world.
Q- Your menu has changed quite a bit over the years, why?
A- The menu evolved to suit their clientele’s needs and wishes by offering a selection of “Heart Smart” dishes for those people with dietary concerns and wishing to simply eat healthier. They also will prepare custom dishes for Celiacs, and for those with allergies or religious dietary concerns. All dressings are made in house, which guarantees product freshness and knowledge of all ingredients in the recipes. Times have changed, people are becoming smarter and consumers are generally more aware of the quality and value of the products that they purchase. The new menu focus will go ‘back to their roots’ and will feature delicious comfort foods and Pub Fare at lower prices than in the past. Plus, everything on their food menus is available “To Go”!
Q- Do you cater?
A- They provide catering for all occasions, big or small to your home or your office. They will also work with you and custom create to every discerning taste and dietary requirement.
Q- Do you have a private room for special occasions or meetings?
A- Their private room is the perfect location for corporate or private meetings, events, celebrations and parties. The beautifully appointed room is completely private and has a walk out to the beautiful backyard garden patio complete with a waterfall.
Q- Do you have a backyard Garden Patio?
A- Yes. The very private backyard garden patio is the perfect backdrop for intimate weddings and special occasions. It can also be booked for private or corporate events.
Q- Do you have live entertainment?
A- Yes, and the Black Dog has some of the best talent to be found anywhere. Thursday and Saturday Nights are back featuring pop / rock n’ roll entertainment. It is an exceptional venue to enjoy an intimate dinner and a show.
Q- Is the Black Dog Wheel Chair accessible?
A- Yes! Actually, the Black Dog won the “Accessibility Challenge Award” for the entire GTA. 98 (Ninety-eight!) bars and clubs where inspected by “Warrens World” to see which establishment was the most accessibly-friendly to the physically challenged and they won! The ramp to the front door flows into the building past the uni-sex wheelchair accessible washroom, through the bar room to dining room through to the patio and back around the front door and ramp into the parking lot. Everything is on one level and at the same grade making it an easy to get around whether in a wheelchair or crutches.
Please contact The Black Dog with any questions you may have using the form on the side of this page.