One of downtown’s most beautifully restored historic buildings is opening this week as The Blue Line Pub & Lounge.
It will be a new sports bar, welcoming the public and honouring first responders with discounts and a display of emergency professionals’ hats and shoulder patches.
Owner Tracey Moore Mamak and husband Paul Mamak purchased 180 Front St. North last June. She’s a local registered nurse and he’s a staff sergeant with Sarnia Police Services.
The couple moved into the condo above and initially considered leasing out the main floor to a bar or restaurant operator.
Years ago the building, which runs through to Christina Street, was extensively renovated and has been occupied by a succession of cafes, restaurants and bars.
“We thought of renting it to someone else but we’ve always talked about our own bar and restaurant,” said Moore Mamak.
The reno began in December with some small structural changes and a new kitchen adjacent to the banquet and meeting room.
New televisions have been installed in the restaurant, and one large wall sports a corkboard and hooks, where the hats of police, fire, paramedics and military hang.
“The idea is to display as many shoulder patches on the board from first responders as we can,” said Mamak.
The Blue Line’s menu was developed by chef Tammy Rice with input from Lambton College chefs.
The result is a variety of gourmet jumbo hot dogs, wings, wraps, salads, soups, nachos and personal pizzas.
The hot dogs sell for $12 to $14 and have names like The Backdraft, which is served with caramelized onions, goat cheese, roasted red peppers and roasted garlic cloves.
Wraps sell for $12, such as The Gettysburg filled with curried pulled pork, cucumber raita and crispy onions.
“Our idea is to be a little more classy than most sports bars and welcome everyone, including families,” said Mamak.
A full line of beer, craft beer, draft, mixed drinks and wine is available. Moore Mamak said she hopes to partner with a few wineries and bring in a wide selection.
“If our regular customers ask for a certain kind of beer or wine, that’s what we’ll stock,” she said.
Between 15 and 20 full-time and part-time staff are being hired to work in the 60-seat bar and restaurant. The banquet room accommodates another 30 and has a large screen and projector.
“We plan to have theme nights and push the chairs aside in the banquet room on weekends so the after-dinner crowd can dance,” Moore Mamak said.
She and her husband plan to continue to work at their jobs and have hired bar manager Olivia Fish for day-to-day operations.
“It’s going to be great,” said Moore Mamak. “We’ve got an excellent staff.”
The Blue Line Pub & Lounge at 180 Front St. North is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. and later on the weekends.
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