They're popular places to grab a brewski or two on spacious patios, and now they're on the market.
Both the Orangeville and Grand Valley locations of Mill Creek Pub and Restaurant are up for sale. The establishments, which have liquor licences and full kitchens, are known for their outdoor dining options.
“Half the people either had an experience on the patio themselves or are just enamoured by the fact it is three storeys,” said manager Donnie Beattie, whose parents, Don and Loraine Beattie, own the restaurants and are planning to retire.
“We decided we would help staff in the pandemic, so we took back ownership and ran the place. Now that the pandemic is starting to ease up, my parents are ready to retire,” Beattie said.
The Orangeville location, at 25 Mill St., is 6,500 square feet and seats 182 people inside, plus 120 people on the patio. It is available for $449,000. The Grand Valley location, at 30 Main St., is 2,480 square feet and seats 116 inside, plus an additional 16 on the patio. It is available for $199,000.
Beattie would like the new owners to continue the namesake, as it has a footprint in Dufferin County.
“What you’re going to buy is the business,” said Beattie. “Coming up with something new might not be the best business decision unless you’re coming in as a chain. I don’t think you’re going to see a chain coming. It will most likely be a family that continues the Mill Creek Pub.”
Beattie said it was a difficult decision to give up the reins, as they had run the restaurant in Orangeville for eight years.
The establishment has a storied history. The Orangeville location was previously Orangeville Bottling Works, owned by Alexander Walker, who made and sold whistle orange soda.
The Beattie family took over the building in 2012 and made substantial changes. Everything was renovated from top to bottom, leaving only the brick walls for historical significance.
They have been active in the community, donating to the Bethell Hospice Foundation and hosting Brewzapalooza, a popular craft beer festival in the winter in Orangeville.
“I know it’s going to be bittersweet for them because they do love being part of the community and heading a lot of stuff," said Beattie. "However, there’s always a time and place, and we finally hit ours. It’s time to allow the next generation to take over all the events.”
They were involved with the Orangeville Blues and Jazz festival, during which they would have musicians playing at their pub.
“We had a big impact when it came to the Blues and Jazz festival in Orangeville,” said Beattie. “Here in Grand Valley, we started in conjunction with the BIA, yearly car shows. We had the first one off the ground, and of course, the pandemic hit. We’re hoping to get a second one later on in the summer.”
The Grand Valley location opened in June 2018, after being home to many different establishments in the past. It was recently Houley’s Sports Bar and Grill, but was also well known as Robbie’s and The Olde Tavern.
A bar and restaurant were on the main floor, while a dance hall was upstairs. The dance hall is now apartments, and the basement has become coolers, freezers and dry storage for the restaurant above.
Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner