Restaurateur jazzed after buying previous Fish Market constructing

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“Proper now we dream the dream till we see how a lot it prices, however I simply don’t suppose you may go improper right here.”

The financial influence of the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t scare Borsten from buying the landmark property, nor did the thought of opening new eating places.

He’s bullish concerning the ByWard Market returning to being a vacationer magnet it all the time had been earlier than the pandemic.

Final June, after 41 years in operation, the previous proprietor of the Fish Market, Coasters and Vineyards eating places introduced their closures, acknowledging that the pandemic “devastated our enterprise.”

OTTAWA -- Restauranteur John Borsten inside the former Fish Market Restaurant building that he has purchased. Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021 -- . ERROL MCGIHON, Postmedia
John Borsten says he paid $5 million for the previous Fish Market Restaurant constructing in a deal that closed final week. Inside demolition work has already begun. Photograph by Errol McGihon /Postmedia

Borsten mentioned he paid $5 million for the constructing in a deal that closed final week. He already had a crew on web site Monday to start out inside demolition.

A brand new provincial order coming into impact Thursday in response to the elevated unfold of COVID-19 will influence the work, Borsten mentioned, however he’s pragmatic concerning the issues he can’t management in making an attempt to open a brand new enterprise.

The truth is, not less than two new eating places might be within the constructing. Your entire constructing can sit about 400 folks, which is a giant operation, Borsten mentioned.

Borsten mentioned he can be opening a downstairs cocktail bar known as Apothecary in March, although the timelines rely upon the standing of the pandemic and authorities orders. He’s designing the house, with its uncovered stone partitions, to be a bit extra upscale with elevated alcohol choices and sharing plates. He may proceed Winery’s legacy of getting stay jazz music.

“It’s cozy. It’s subterranean. There’s not many locations prefer it,” Borsten mentioned.

He’s nonetheless making an attempt to determine on the angle for the upstairs restaurant, although he’s not eager on a having theme and he’s not keen on working a seafood restaurant.

Borsten was making an attempt to determine what do to with the left-behind sea-themed decorations from the previous Fish Market restaurant — huge metal anchors, fish posters and a reproduction canoe — whereas additionally planning to incorporate ornamental nods to the constructing’s historical past.