150+ Seat Pub ‘The American’ Coming To The Old ‘Electric Owl’ Space On Main Street

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The 900-1000 block of Main Street has had a good decade in terms of new and licensed establishments. For a while there it was just The Cobalt and The Ivanhoe holding things down, but then along came – in short order if you take the long view – Campagnolo (and Camp Upstairs), Electric Owl, Pizzeria Farina, Boxcar, Torafuku, and Bodega. That’s a good run in an upwards direction. The weakest of any of the newcomers was Electric Owl at 926 Main Street. The voluminous live music venue and neighbourhood off-sales magnet closed last summer after its five year run, sitting empty for a year before being picked up by the people most likely to seize the opportunity: it’s old competitors from across the street, The Cobalt.

Ezra Kish, Patryk Drozd, and Simon Fallick took possession in July with the goal of turning it into a fun, approachable pub called The American (so named after the old SRO hotel it sits under). I took a look inside at progress earlier in the week and found polymath artist, woodworker, leatherworker, general contractor Tam Fuller deep in the drywall dust, finessing the thing towards a mid-to-late September opening. They’re hoping to complete a “big facelift” for the space by then, with more renovations going down in successive stages over the winter.

It was hard to imagine the finished product with its 150+ seats (licensed for 253) spread out over 5,000 sqft, but from what I’ve been told we can expect a lot of communal tables dominating the center of the main room. These will be left shouldered by a series of elevated booths leftover from the Owl (these were still fixed in place, covered in protective plastic). Pool tables and foosball will take up corner spaces, while old school pinball machines and video games will line what used to be the performance stage. The little bar area at the back had yet to see its face lifted, but the fact that it might soon open up to a 20 seat patio was hinted at. The details of the small food program have yet to be determined, but I’m optimistic about it (enough, at least, to think of The American less as a bar and more of a pub). I dig that kids will be allowed in until 10pm, and that there will never be a cover charge. Needless to say, it should be interesting when it’s finished. Take a look…

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  1. “finessing the thing towards a mid-to-late September opening”…by that you mean Nov at the earliest

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