It’s official: Duggan’s Brewery has served its last pint
Not long ago, it seemed as though brew and gastropubs were on the rise in Toronto, but a couple of recent closures are giving us pause. While My Place’s failure might be attributed to its west end location and size, many are shocked to hear that downtown brew pub Duggan’s Brewery has also shut its doors.
Rumours of the closure started on Tuesday morning, when a lease-termination notice for “non-payment of rent” was found on the pub’s boarded-up front doors. Over on the forum at The Bar Towel, an Ontario craft beer website, news of a possible reopening was mentioned. The Toronto Star’s beer writer Josh Rubin confirmed over Twitter that owner Mike Duggan was hoping to reopen later in the week, and was forced to shut down “because [the] landlord made a mistake.” However, last night sommelier Ben Shillow (Oliver and Bonacini) let the news slip of Duggan’s permanent closure, followed shortly by Duggan’s official announcement this afternoon.
While the loss of the brew pub is sad news for the city’s beer scene, fans of Duggan’s popular No. 9 can rest assured that the award-winning India Pale Ale will still be brewed at Etobicoke’s Cool Brewing Co. and carried at bars, restaurants and the LCBO. One more note of hope comes from Graham Duncan, a sales rep with Duggan’s Brewery, who noted that some “very good news regarding a second beer” will be released in the very near future. Still, it feels like the end of a brief era.
• Duggan’s Brewery Closure Confirmed To Be Permanent [Canadian Beer News]
• Duggan’s Brewery – Downtown Location – Officially Closed [Great Canadian Beer Blog]
18 thoughts on “It’s official: Duggan’s Brewery has served its last pint”
While you all bewail your lost choice of pints, spare a thought for all the staff who, as we speak, will not get paid because of the managerial incompetence of the fucker who ran this place.
they made great beer but the restaurant side of the business was a complete clusterf*ck
Pretty strong accusations. Any info to back these up? Just curious.
was the rent too much?
this location has not worked for lots of takers, especially the landlord.
The food was outstanding and went hand in hand with an original beer. This spot will be greatly missed.
Hope you had a good time in Cuba.
I am a big fan of beer, and food, and brewpubs, and live a couple blocks from Duggan’s.
I only went twice.
The food was lame (and overpriced – more chain restaurant than craft), the space was weird and uncomfortable – it didn’t know what it wanted to be. Plus, the beer was sometimes good, sometimes not. With C’est What around the corner, with food that is arguably no better, but is cheaper and with a wider and better selection of beer and a better atmosphere, Duggan’s wasn’t much of a draw.
Duggan’s never forged a real identity. Definitely not a local, and the suburban crowd obviously wasn’t enough to keep it afloat.
Whenever a business goes under there is bound to be recrimination and speculation. But “Stan Corrected” comment must be addressed. As of yesterday, to the best of our abilities, all Duggan’s employees were issued pay cheques for their last pay period.
man this sucks, they had some of the best beer around, great food, and fantastic staff who were friendly & genuinely gave a sh*t about the patrons
I will sorely miss this place & wish Mike Duggan & the employees I befriended at this unique, high quality pub all the best in any future ventures
Graham, why can’t I get this beer in London?
Just wanted to back of Graham in stating that Management and Ownership at Duggan’s has acted honorably in paying its employees first…and allowing them to retrieve their personal effects…This was delayed solely because access had to be scheduled for a large group to get into the space…through proper legal channels….including the owner, so he could process payroll…Thank you to Mike Duggan for the opportunity…the hater’s will just find a new place to blog and complain about…onward and upward…
I will miss the place.
I worked across the street and it was great to be just 2 minutes away. The beer was good, high praise as I usually stick to vodka or scotch. The staff was nice BUT they did not have enough servers and there was no doubt that while the management may have been good brewmasters, they had no idea how to run a restaurant.
1) long waits to get served (minimizes sales)
2) Food crazy expensive, and menu poorly thought out.
3) Propensity to run out of beer
4) Servers grappling with poor equipment, i.e. they had trouble coaxing out the beer at times.
Its a shame, it seems to be a case of big hearts, small talent. Running a restaurant is very difficult, margins are terrible, rents are crazy. I get it, the great staff will be missed, the continuous gaffes will not.
Peter: It’s a brewpub, not a restaurant. Obviously you’re one of the 100,000 food people in Toronto that thinks they know what they’re talking about. You’ve missed the part about the brewery. You have demonstrated you know nothing about this part. I can guarantee you, it has a lot more going on than most, if not all, restaurants.
Stop flattering yourself. Most restaurant people are hacks that couldn’t understand real Science, which requires a university degree…as a start.
The food here sucked. Possibly the worst kitchen of any beer place in the area. If you think the food is limiting at C’est What or Volo, they look like the Ritz Carlton compared to Duggan’s.
The space was poorly planned and furnished: the south most room is a bunch of spartan wood tables on a bare concrete floor and monochromatic walls. Might work as an art gallery but not a social, drinking/eating space. No warmth.
For every time I got the DIPA or Porter in growler, there were 9 times I left empty-handed because they filled the same-o, lame-o beer brands.
My sympathies go out to the staff, who are out of work and possibly owed wages, and locals who enjoyed the watering space. Otherwise, poor management, poor decor, poor kitchen – failure is price for underpreforming.
While I didn’t mind the spartan feel of the main room – it was so poorly planned and developed it just simply didn’t work
The way the 2 spaces were divided was a mess and trying to buy beer at that strange front desk was a crap shoot to say the least.
I really wanted this place to work – but as a space it honestly just didn’t work – the entrance was totally haphazard and it always felt like you were about to walk into a pillar
The menu was totally random too – what were they trying to do? Great beer tho and would have been great to have it in the core for us downtowners
And this is coming from someone who liked the concrete and wooden tables lol
The food was usually not too bad and took a fair swing at being substantial & properly made.
The space did feel a bit cavernous, without much beer-hall charm to compensate.
The beer was usually pretty darn good, with some hiccups in quality and presentation. Many enjoyable new beers and many small-brewery quirks. Drinkers cried out that the shrimpy-looking glassware was smaller than standard sizes – especially with a foamy pour – but at least the 10oz/16oz (?) servings were cheap so I didn’t care. Later those same servings went up in price to ‘typical’ 12oz/20oz Toronto prices, and I began to worry the brewpub were getting desperate for cash to survive.
For all Victoria St. Duggan’s flaws, I will miss ’em. Did I not mention: the workers were always very hospitable! I got to know some great people who deserve to do well in this city.
Sorry to hear about the closing. I am an out of towner and had planned on checking it out but too late now. Difficult to start a new business these days – good for Michael for trying.
Sources tell me that the new Six Pints Specialty Brewing Co. division of Molson has taken over the spot. Building permits have been issued for renovations.
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