Clocktower taps Rideau Street, Orléans for Ottawa expansion

For illustrative purposes only. (Photo courtesy John Coughlan)

As craft brewing continues to grow in popularity, Clocktower Brew Pub is looking to assert itself as the Ottawa original with another expansion downtown and its first in the suburbs.

Clocktower co-owner Todd Brown says the coming location across from the Rideau Centre at 140 Rideau St. will be bolstered by the mall’s expansion, Ogilvy Square and the coming LRT station.

“That corner should be pretty hot,” he says.

The indoor capacity will be similar to the chain’s other locations with approximately 140 seats, while a slightly larger patio will have room for between 80 and 100 patrons.

Though Clocktower already has a location a few blocks away on Clarence Street in the ByWard Market, Mr. Brown says the new location will cater to a different crowd.

“We see it being more as lunches and after-work audience, not so much late night. Clarence Street tends to be nighttime and weekends.”

The other location 2010 Trim Rd., at Innes Road, should open within four weeks, Mr. Brown says. This expansion represents the first Clocktower in Orleans, part of the suburban market where the owners see a great deal of potential.

“The ‘burbs have really expanded a lot,” Mr. Brown says.

While the rise of craft brewing has meant increased competition from brew pubs popping up across the city, the demand for locally-brewed products has been a boon for Clocktower. Mr. Brown says the Ottawa chain of brew pubs has sold a higher percentage of its own product over domestic and other brands in recent years, a change he credits largely to the drinking habits of millennials.

“They approach drinking very differently than their parents did. They’re more adventurous, they want to try new things,” he says.

After adding the Rideau Street location, Mr. Brown says there may be still be room for one more Clocktower downtown, adding that the plan is to add one location per year across the city for the foreseeable future. The two coming expansions will bring the total number of Clocktower locations in Ottawa to seven.