Construction of the new Phoenix’s interior in the Refectory building above Bridges Cafe is in its final stages.
Construction of the new Phoenix’s interior in the Refectory building above Bridges Cafe is in its final stages.


After several months of delay, the Phoenix bar and restaurant has cleared a major hurdle in its move over to the Refectory building, above Bridges Café.

The liquor license application by McMaster’s Graduate Students Association, which owns the bar, was held up by an objection from members of Parents Against Drunk Students (PADS), a Westdale residents’ association led by lawyer Lou Ferro. The new license was required for the move.

PADS took out an advertisement in the Hamilton Spectator in May, which attempted to rally residents against the bar’s move, warning of “the volume of drunk Animal House students spilling into our west campus streets.”

The seating arrangement begins to take shape on the new patio, built on the former patio space of Bridges.

Phoenix management was informed on June 29 that they had won in their appeal of the objection, and that they could continue their pursuit of the license. Only fire, building and health inspections, followed by a liquor inspection from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, are the remaining steps before the move can take place.

The news follows an announcement that the site of Wentworth House, which is set to be demolished, will be the home of the new liberal arts building, to be called L.R. Wilson Hall. While the Graduate Students Association offices will move along with the Phoenix, other tenants of Wentworth House, including the Muslim Students Association, the McMaster Children’s Centre and MacCycle, will need to find new locations.

The building was announced last year following funding commitments from the Ontario government, McMaster’s Chancellor Lynton (Red) Wilson and the McMaster Association of Part-time Students (MAPS).

According to Sue Blythe, General Manager of the bar, the administrative work for the Phoenix license should be finished up in the next few weeks. She estimated that the relocation will happen between late-July and mid-August, “but certainly before September.”

The Phoenix will remain in its current location, on the upper floor of Wentworth House, until then.

Construction, according to Blythe, was the larger factor in the delays, which have pushed plans well beyond an initial January end date. The final stages of the liquor license process will only add a couple of weeks, she said.


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