Clocktower Brew Pub Glebe location closes after almost 30 years, making way for Turkish restaurant

Southern Ontario restaurant Sultan Ahmet is taking over Clocktower Brew Pub's first location in the Glebe. (Photo by David Sali)

The iconic first location of the Clocktower Brew Pub in the Glebe, opened in 1996, closed at the end of December, making way for a Turkish restaurant. 

Darrell Cox, executive director of the Glebe BIA, says it’s sad to see the brewery leave the neighbourhood after nearly three decades. 

“They’ve been a mainstay in our community for many years,” he said. “A lot of our residents and people around the city have lots of fond memories of nights out at Clocktower.”

OBJ360 (Sponsored)

The Clocktower Brew Pub is considered the oldest craft brewery in the Ottawa region, according to Brad Campeau, owner of local company Brew Donkey Tours, which offers tours of brew pubs around town. 

“It seems like they’re closing down the brew house space,” said Campeau. “The brew house specifically was significant to use in our communications because that location, being one of the oldest breweries in the region, also was making beer in a style that nobody else in Ottawa, other than one other brewery, was doing.”

Clocktower’s Glebe location was known for its “Peter Austin system” of open-fermentation brewing, a style Campeau said is a throwback to Old English ales. Guests could view the open vat through a window at the upper level of the main restaurant. 

“The open ferment meant you could see the krausen, or the top — the bubbly fermenting beer foaming over onto the floor,” he said. 

Campeau added, “It’s a big hit to the Ottawa craft brew industries … It’ll definitely go down as a loss to the community and I do hope that they continue to find success with their three remaining locations.”

Clocktower Brew Pub continues to operate locations at 140 Rideau St., 418 Richmond Rd. in Westboro, and 422 MacKay St. in New Edinburgh.

In addition to closing its Glebe location, Clocktower Brew Pub announced last September the closure of its restaurant in Orléans, which first opened in 2017. The chain’s pubs on Elgin Street and Clarence Street in the ByWard Market have also shut their doors for good during what’s been a touch stretch for the hospitality industry. 

OBJ reached out to the Clocktower Brew Pub owners but did not hear back.

Sultan Ahmet, which has locations in Mississauga and Hamilton, will open the doors of its first Ottawa restaurant on Feb. 5 at the 575 Bank St. location formerly occupied by the brew pub. 

According to its website, the restaurant was founded by Turkish chef Arsalan Ahmet Dogan, with a menu featuring doners, kebabs and other traditional entrees, pastries and desserts.  

Cox said the Glebe is known for its array of international cuisine, but there are currently no other Turkish restaurants in the area. He added that Sultan Ahmet will be setting up in a prime spot. 

“It’s a great location,” he said. “The Glebe is a destination. We have lots of people from around the city coming to the Glebe to do their shopping, to visit the great restaurants. Being right off the Queensway, (the building) gets that great visibility as people are coming in and out. Visibility is important for restaurants. I think that prominent location will suit them very well.”

Get our email newsletters

Get up-to-date news about the companies, people and issues that impact businesses in Ottawa and beyond.

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.