Oh Where, Oh Where, Has Brian Gone??

So rumour has it that Brian (the Publican) has abandoned Carol (the real Boss) to go off with his Dad to see the world and take in a few season openers of that great american pastime; baseball. It appears that Carol is also enjoying Brian’s getaway, as she was seen yesterday at the spa taking in a full array of treatments. OK, in all honesty she was just driving by the spa on her way to open the Pub and prepare to welcome the many hungry and thirsty patrons who would find their way to her door. You have to wonder what Carol has planned for her getaway. I am sure she is open to suggestions.


First Sign of Spring

As sure as the first crocuses (or croci), or the first robins, one true sign of spring in Annapolis Royal is the sight of carpenters erecting the Pub Deck. And that’s the sight I beheld as I trekked into the Pub this afternoon.

You see, the Pub Deck actually resides on the street… yep, that’s right, you get to drink beer in the middle of the street! Actually, the Pub is located at the very end of Church Street, once a small thoroughfare, but a deadend street for many decades now. As is the case with many old buildings, the front facade of the Pub is literally at the edge of the street right-of-way and thus there is no front property on which to build an outdoor dining area for the summer. Many years back, the Pub owners approached the Town with a novel idea – rent the “street” space to the Pub through a formal agreement for a seasonal deck. Much thought went into this proposal, as it would be a precedent-setting agreement for use of public property in the Town. In the end, an agreement was struck on a trial basis. And now, probably a decade later, the outdoor summer deck at the Pub is a beehive of activity all summer long.

What a great place to sit, overlooking the Farmer’s Market, wharf and haulup, feeling the fresh salt breeze and enjoying a meal and/or a brew. And on Saturday mornings, when the Market is bustling with vendors and gatherers of all kinds, the deck and the Pub interior are filled to capacity with aficionados of their “steak & egg” brunch… a tradition for locals! But that’s another story, best told on a sunny summer day!

A Bit of History

The building which houses Ye Olde Towne Pub has not always existed as a pub.  In 1884 the building was built as the first branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia in Annapolis Royal.  Brick for the building was supplied locally by the Buckler Brick Works, a company which was located near the current soccer fields for the local highschool.   The building’s status as a bank led to a triple brick construction with bars on the side and back windows.  A mere four years later the building was gutted by the fire which burned many of the other buildings along Church Street.  The bank later moved to its current location on St George Street.  Before its current use as a pub, the building has been used as a liquor store, a bakery and law offices.



The Secret Door

Ye Olde Towne Pub has a secret.  Unlike many secrets, this is a good secret.  In the corner of the dining room is a humble set of shelves.  As is appropriate to a pub, these shelves hold a collection of old beer bottles.  But, what is hiding behind the shelves?

If you push on one of the shelves, the whole shelving unit will slide back to reveal a door.  By stepping through the door you will find a stairwell which takes you the Pub’s new second floor meeting room.  This new space is ideal for meetings, gatherings, Christmas parties or other events.  So, why not take a step through the secret door?

The shelves

The shelves


The secret door

The secret door

We love our Keith’s!



Yes, we Bluenosers love our “Keets”, as we call it. Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale to be precise, although Keith’s Brewery certainly produces other great “refreshments” as well.

For more than 185 years, Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale has been the toast of Nova Scotia. It’s a time-honoured recipe, steeped in authentic Nova Scotia tradition. Even as times change, Alexander Keith’s proudly remains the same: a beer brewed without compromise since 1820. For this we have the great brewmaster, Alexander Keith, to thank.

I went to Mount Allison University in New Brunswick for four years in the early 1980’s, before Keith’s was sold outside the Province, and there was a traditional caravan of students making the pilgrimage to Amherst, NS every Friday to bring back some “good beer” for the weekend!

Keith’s is the number one seller at Ye Olde Towne Pub, both in bottle form and “on tap”.  Cuz here in Nova Scotia…

Those Who Like It, Like it a Lot!


Here is a culinary treat that you can only find at Ye Olde Towne Pub. Potachos, the creation of Pub owner Brian’s mother Velma Keevil, are perhaps the perfect blend between french fries and nachos. Imagine a plate of deep fried lattice potato chips covered with melted cheese, tomatoes, green peppers, and onions.  These are served with sour cream and a zesty salsa.  What a great idea for a snack!

Potachos are a terrific treat!

Potachos are a terrific treat!

Thursday Night Bluegrass Jammin

Thursday evenings starting at 7:30 p.m. you will find some of our less known, but surprisingly well accomplished local musical artists, getting together to entertain themselves and everyone who cares to listen in as they perform a number of Bluegrass tunes. They aren’t all that big on requests, but seem open to having others who want to bring their instrument along join in.

Plan to come early and have dinner. The pub offers an extensive menu to choose from. Better yet, bring a group of friends and make an evening of it.