Roosters, the widely known country and western bar in Pitt Meadows, is closing, and re-opening in several months, after being bought by Surrey-based restaurant chain Joseph Richard Group.
Roosters Country Cabaret said on its website that it’s closing its doors in two weeks.
And it’s inviting people to get on its guest list for the final day, which is Sunday, Jan. 20.
“We’re expecting it to be pretty busy,” a staff member said Thursday.
Roosters is closing in 2 weeks… and I’m….kind of sad??
— Coops (@karaacoops) January 10, 2019
JRG CEO Ryan Moreno said his company has been looking at the location for several months and reached an agreement with the owners for purchase of the business and property last year, and finalized the sale this week.
Major renovations will start in February with plans to re-open by this summer or fall.
Moreno said the exact type of establishment that will result isn’t being released, but will include elements not yet in any other JRG pubs or restaurants.
The big question is whether Roosters will remain a country bar. Moreno said he understands that people are attached to the old country bar and said the company welcomes customer’s comments.
“We’re certainly sensitive to the things that made Roosters what it was. We’d definitely like to incorporate that into the new project. Especially when it’s an iconic place like that, there’s obviously something that made the place special for all those years. We don’t take that stuff lightly.
“We’re always sensitive when taking over existing locations, especially one with such a history. There are certainly, deep roots within the community and will most certainly be a lot of feedback and opinion from many around the Lower Mainland.”
“There always going to be people that welcome the change and there’s always going to be people that never want change,” Moreno said.
With the sale now complete, the company now can talk to staff.
“Any time, any location we’ve taken over … we always want to give the staff the first opportunity. It’s hard enough in the industry to find great people,” Moreno said, although he realized it’s a long layoff and construction period.
Staff are probably a huge part of Roosters’ success, he added.
JRG already has a Townhall restaurant on Lougheed Highway and 206th Street in Maple Ridge and has 25 restaurants in B.C. and Alberta.
People are already reacting to the plans to close the doors and it’s not certain what will follow.
“Can’t close without Aaron Pritchett playing the final week!!” said Chad Currie on Facebook.
“This is where I met my husband. In the hot dog lineup after the bar closed. June 1999. Still together,” added Deanna Taylor Malenstyn.
Pitt Meadows assistant fire chief Mike Larsson was a DJ at the bar from 1997 to 2003.
“It was country music, so it was popular for all ages. It was definitely a country bar, back in the 1990s into the early 2000s, it was busy five days a week.
“With Roosters, it was an incredibly fun place to work. It’s that nice spot here in Pitt Meadows, well known throughout the Lower Mainland.”
He said the bar has many long-term employees.
“It’s a fun atmosphere. There are not too many places you can where you can go and still dance.”
Larsson has worked at several country bars, but said Roosters was the most fun.
Taking Roosters away from the people is absolutely blasphemous
— bhallzz (@Brendan_Hal) January 10, 2019
Roosters drew country fans from around the Lower Mainland.