Jamieson Kerr talks about selling Crush and opening a second Queen and Beaver-esque pub
After eight years as owner and operator of Crush Wine Bar, Jamieson Kerr has decided to sell the once-French, now-British King West bistro in order to focus on his growing family and the Queen and Beaver—his Elm Street gastropub that opened last spring. “I’ve been spending six nights a week at Crush, and I felt it was time to give a bit of time back to my family,” Kerr tells us. “A great offer came my way, to be honest. We all know that the economy was tough on large fine-dining restaurants, and I managed to hold my own, but when this offer came along, it was worth looking at.”
Crush was purchased by the Niagara-on-the-Lake company Lais Hotel Properties (the comfort masters behind Pillar and Post and Queen’s Landing), which will maintain the name, look and feel of the place. Almost all of the staff will remain, too, including chef Michael Wilson, ensuring that the menu won’t undergo any drastic changes, either. “They might spend some money on a patio and private dining rooms,” says Kerr, adding that, down the line, Lais “plans to expand the brand.”
Kerr seems confident of two things: that Crush is in good hands and that the Queen and Beaver will have continued success. He even confirmed rumours that he plans to open another location, which he hopes is operational by the end of the year. Stay tuned.