"Elgin Beer Project" to take Ottawa retail space vacated by Slice and Co.

Farther up Elgin Street, Toronto seafood chain is setting up shop
The windows of Slice and Co. have been papered up for months. The owners are getting ready to rebrand the pizzeria as a craft beer bar.
The windows of Slice and Co. have been papered up for months. The owners are getting ready to rebrand the pizzeria as a craft beer bar. (Photo by Haley Ritchie / Metro)

Elgin Street’s Slice and Co. has permanently closed, but its owner will reopen the location as a new bar focused on offering a wide local beer selection later this month.

The pizzeria has been “closed for winter renovations” for the past three months, its windows plastered with brown paper.

Locals wondering if the closure was permanent have their answer: earlier this week paper signs went up confirming that the restaurant is being replaced with the “Elgin Beer Project.”

The new craft beer bar is expected to open before the end of April, according to co-owner Scott Johnson, and aims to offer between 50 to 100 different beers from across the city and the Ottawa valley.

“We’ll treat the bar like it’s my rec room, and treat the patio like it’s my backyard,” said Johnson. “Basically it’s come and snack, drink beers and watch the game. It’s a casual, neighbourhood friendly place.”

Turnover has been relatively high recently on Elgin Street, but Johnson is working with someone who knows the area well. His business partner is Mike Coughlan, the owner of established restaurant and nightclub The Standard across the street.

Coughlan said the idea for the Elgin Beer Project came from having to turn down so many local brewers wanting to be featured at The Standard. The new eatery plans to be casual and focused on local tastes.

“Instead of having to commit to putting 20,000 cans in the LBCO and seeing if people will buy their beer, we can take 1,000 cans and give them good feedback."

“Instead of having to commit to putting 20,000 cans in the LBCO and seeing if people will buy their beer, we can take 1,000 cans and give them good feedback and brew beer with them,” he said. “I think it’ll be fun. It’s about community and giving these guys a place to put their stuff out there.”

Farther up the street, signs have been installed on the former Fresco Bistro Italiano’s building for The Captain’s Boil, a Toronto seafood chain that allows patrons to “feast like a pirate, dine like a captain.”

The restaurant has 17 locations in Ontario. Diners choose seafood, which is served in a plastic bag with sauce for a messy dining experience inspired by a southern boil.

The restaurant follows a migration of trendy Toronto and American franchises setting up in Ottawa’s downtown, including Sweet Jesus ice cream, Chipotle Mexican Grill, El Furniture Warehouse and Nando’s.

This article originally appeared in Metro News.