In the spring of 1944, Jack Newman opened the Imperial. Back then only pubs could serve draught beer, women and men couldn’t drink together, the organ was the only musical entertainment allowed, and we had to close from 6:30 to 8:00 every evening for suppertime. What many now know as the upstairs PUBlic library was a 9-room Inn, and our downstairs aquarium was a solid wall.
Much has changed in our seventy years, but even more has stayed the same. In the 1950s, Jack bought our now famous Seeburg jukeboxes and loaded them with the best 45s from his own lifelong Jazz collection. Jack’s son Fred joined him in 1968. In the 1970s, with the growth of Ryerson University, the Imperial Hotel became the Imperial Pub (lic. Library).
In the late 1990s, our wonderful community fought hard to keep our place not included in the development of Young-Dundas Square, and we remain happily anachronistic neighbours.
We like to think we’ve held on to the best of each era, and improved with every decade. We now offer ten delicious local and independent and imported beers delivered through our custom refrigerated multi-keg draft lines, and close to 100 quality brews in cans and bottles, as well as a proud selection of independently-imported and the best Niagara VQA wines, and a wide variety of top-shelf gins, whiskeys, tequilas and other liquors. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff mix up classic martinis and cocktails, as well as many modern mixed drinks. We pride ourselves on time-tested quality and service. We are very proud of our brand new kitchen, and have recently developed a reputation for the best pub fare around. All of our food is prepared fresh in-house from the finest and freshest ingredients available, under the caring creative direction of Fred’s son Ricky. Our beef is all fresh, free-range, and organic and grass fed and comes from the Enright cattle company in Tweed, ON. Our Haddock is top-quality, sustainable, and line-caught by independent fishers off the shores of Nova Scotia, and comes delivered by fisherfolk.
We pride ourselves on our comfortable, welcoming service and atmosphere. From the aquarium bar to the library, the backroom, and the patio, we hope you’ll find the Pub to be a great place for a drink or a meal and a conversation. Our rooftop Patio is in our opinion the best place in the city for a summertime pint, and a uniquely calm view of the happenings at Dundas Square. Our fully-equipped music and stage venue in the backroom is acoustically remarkable, and is a great spot for a show of any type.