Freshly plucked this from this morning’s Ottawa Citizen:
At a time of widespread layoffs and economic malaise, a Vancouver restaurateur has faith enough in Ottawa that he’s pumping $5 million into a lavish new restaurant in the Westin Ottawa hotel.
Economic uncertainty will pass, says David Aisenstat, 52.
And when it does, he believes his glitzy Shore Club restaurant, where couples can expect to pay $150 for dinner including wine, will be poised to receive guests from area hotels and the Congress Centre being rebuilt next door.”
For the sake of fealty to reality, if Ottawa’s version is to be anything like Vancouver’s, let’s amend that to read “where sparrow couples can expect to pay $150 for dinner without appetisers or desserts including cheap wine, of which The Shore Club has very little, and not including taxes or gratuity.” Sorry to rob you of your illusions, David.
“Even if the recession lumbers on, Aisenstat believes those who postpone buying new cars and homes will still want to treat themselves by dining out at a posh spot.
Construction is expected to begin in late April in space off the Westin main lobby once occupied by Hartwell’s nightclub. He expects to open with 184 seats this fall, cloning a high-end steak and seafood Shore Club he opened two years ago in downtown Vancouver at a cost of $8 million.
“It will certainly be the nicest-looking restaurant in town, but it will not be a nightclub,” he says.
“Our market is upscale, the 30-something-plus age group. This will not be a meat market.”
Really? I get that it’s upscale, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a place to score, regardless of age. Besides, meat markets are tailored for the over 30 market…
I’m a cougar at The Shore Club.
I’m a cougar at The Shore Club who?
Meow, get the check.
But you have to hand it to Mr. Aisenstat for the cajones it takes to drop $5m down on another Shore Club when the Vancouver location has been something of a yawner since it opened in 2007. I love the food even though it kills the wallet, but as to how they going to make the $8m they spent on building the place back is completely beyond me. I guess sometimes the inordinately wealthy are a total mystery.
I’m from Ottawa and that has always been a dog of a location wedged beside the Rideau Centre underpass and the Congress Centre.
They might get spinoff from Winterlude and the usual tourist traffic but most of those folks would rather walk the extra 50 metres to the Elephant and Castle on the corner or keep going to the Byward Market.
I wish them the luck and give them kudos if they can pull it off.