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The History of The Waterfront
Abandoned for many years, this historic limestone building is situated directly on the river and underwent complete refurbishment both inside and out in 2013. The Waterfront River Pub and Terrace is a 150 person licensed pub serving solid traditional Canadian pub comfort food as well more inventive and leading edge cuisine.
Nothing could be more appropriate than a pub for this building as it was originally built as a brewery by Mr. Thomas Taylor, a brewer from Belleville, in 1857. It remained as a brewery, passing to Brewer James Fisher from Portsmouth in 1863 (for 700 pounds!) and then in 1871 to a pair of brewers, Mr William Thomas and Mr John Bowey of Napanee, for 4700 dollars. Neat factoid: The water and fixtures were included in the price.
In 1880, the property was obtained by Mr John Downey, a grain merchant, who subsequently sold it to the Dominion Bank in 1884 for 9000 dollars. In 1889 The Dominion Bank sold the property to bankers J.W. Murray and R.H. Bethune of Belleville and it became part of the Seymour Power and Electrical Company along with the properties to the west along the river. Seymour Power was bought by the provincial government in 1916 and the property became part of the Napanee Gas Company. In 1930 it was transferred to the Town of Napanee and it eventually became a marina sometime in the 1960s. The marina closed in the 1980s and the property passed through several hands but mostly languished vacant until November 2011 when it was bought and began it’s resurrection into the building you see today – The Waterfront River Pub and Terrace.
It’s a fine and lovely building and when you come to visit, raise your pint in a toast. If a building could talk, this one would tell you it’s awfully glad to come back to its roots.