|Centretown Pub deal falls through
story by Trevor Clayton /
Apr 10 2003
A deal that would have seen Ottawa’s most popular gay bar, the Centretown Pub (CP), officially change hands collapsed Apr 1, the day after the deal was to be finalized.
Kelly Brant and Sue Plowman, owners of the Lookout Bar in the Market, approached Centretown Pub owners Wayne Cave and Ed St Jean with an offer to acquire CP several months ago. The deal remained a relatively well-kept secret, but when news of an imminent sale was leaked, it spread like wild flowers, as did news of the failure to close the deal. All that Cave would say is that it was “a business deal that simply fell through.”
Icon bartender Jesse Cote was also going to be part of the new team, assuming 10 percent ownership of CP and taking over its managerial duties.
Although neither party would provide details on the last-minute fallout, Plowman expressed “deep disappointment” and says that she and Brant were “all ready to go.
“We don’t want to point any fingers, we don’t want to battle with Wayne and Ed now. We’re just disappointed,” says Plowman.
Rather than the bigger picture, Cave says it was the finer points of the negotiations that broke the deal.
“I think they’re some of the best people that I could sell to if I wanted it to change hands. I was always assured by them that they would keep the Centretown Pub as the Centretown Pub.”
One of the conditions of the deal was that CP would not be altered to reflect anything other than the gay community, but contrary to the rumor mill, parties involved in the sale are saying it was not a factor in the deal falling through.
“We were looking around for another location and we wanted to be in the gay village,” says Brant, a former police officer. “We thought it such a great bar already, so why recreate something that’s already there.”
Brant indicated a little painting and an upgrade of the washrooms would have taken place, but the structure of the three floors and their mandates would have continued without change.