Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Great Guy and a Great Place

I'm not planning to turn this blog into a place to advertise and promote businesses and companies.
I will however do everything I can to support my friends and decent people in their ventures.
Last night Cheryl and I were invited to a pre opening event at the Garrison District Ale House at 426 Queen Street in Fredericton. I never even knew that this place was here but found out that it's been here for a while under other names.
My friend Doug Williams has taken it over and is opening on Tuesday.
Doug is a wonderful guy and really knows his stuff. He's had many years of experience in the hospitality industry.
Recently he had found himself stagnating in his position and decided to take a chance and strike out on his own.
From what I saw last night he is taking a good chance and should do very well for himself.
We loved this place!
Of all the times not to bring my real camera this wasn't one of them.
I would like to apologize right now to Doug for the lousy quality of these pictures.
They were taken with my Blackberry and aren't very good. I felt that even lousy pictures were better than none but these certainly don't do the amazing decor justice.
The ceiling is a cathedral ceiling rounded at the edges. I've always been a huge fan of cathedral ceilings.

As one enters there is a long bar which runs along most of the left wall. There were bartenders spread out over its entire length making anyone's waiting time very short. I don't need to tell anyone how frustrating it is waiting at a huge bar trying to get a server's attention for 10 minutes.
I don't think Doug is going to allow that to happen in his place.
You really have to see it in person to appreciate how nice it is.
I ran into a beautiful young lady that I work with named Mary. It turns out that she and her husband are very good friends of Doug and his wife.
Mary told me that Doug's wife did all of the decorating of the place.
I assume that she meant Doug's wife chose the colours and the style of the decor and not that she physically did the actual decorating.
Either way she is a very talented lady and I salute her.
For the open house Doug had free beverages for all. Cheryl and I enjoyed pop since we don't drink alcohol but the beer being served looked pretty darn tasty.
The server girls were circulating in the room with large glasses of dark ale for anyone that wanted them.
As tempting (it was indeed) as it was we passed.
From what I understand the selection on the beer menu is VERY extensive.
It's highly unlikely that one won't find at least one that they like.

The best thing about the whole night was the food!
The lovely server girls did an excellent job providing finger foods throughout.
Everything was amazing but the things that stuck out the most were the "feta fingers" - deep dried feta cheese sticks and some wonderful little hamburgers. I've never heard of a feta finger before. I am happy that I have now.

One of the small burgers is pictured above.
Certainly not your average burger. Apart from the obvious smaller size, the bun was like a fluffy tea biscuit. There was something else which I tasted in the meat but I'm not sure what it was.
It was spiced with something that we loved.

There were four of us sitting at a table near the back. We met a very nice couple and sat chatting for most of our time there.
Between the four of us the servers almost never made it past out table with a tray of chicken wings.
Cheryl and I don't like spicy wings and the ones being served were nice and mild and crispy under the sauce.
Another thumbs up!
I'm certainly hoping that the food last night represents the usual fare when Doug opens up this Tuesday. (If it's not I will be speaking with him about it.)

The place was absolutely packed with many people of all ages. Well, over 19 years old anyway.
I wish I had my camera with me. I could have done one of those "seen about town"
article things here.
There were many people that I recognised from around town.
I confess that even though it was wall-to-wall people the atmosphere was still like the comfort of my living room.

Personally I am going to do what I can to visit this establishment as often as possible. I'm also going to recommend it to everyone I speak to.
I know Doug well enough to trust that everyone who enters the Garrison District Ale House once will surely want to come back again.

The web address is
I don't think the site is up yet though.

Best of luck to you Doug. You deserve it!


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