Irish Embassy won't reopen in time for St. Patrick's weekend

In the early morning hours of March 24 last year, a fire tore through the Bishop St. building housing the Irish Embassy Pub and Grill.

And despite optimistic talk some months ago about the pub reopening in time for this year's St. Patrick's festivities, that won't happen.

Joe Cannon, the co-owner of the Irish Embassy, told CJAD 800's Andrew Carter that renovations to the pub had been carrying on for months, but those efforts were slowed, in part, because many of the documents covering its policy were lost in the fire.

"All our stuff is gone, so the paperwork with the insurance...everything takes forever, because we don't have it anymore," Cannon said. "So they ask us for this, they ask us for's just a bit of a nightmare."

Cannon says if they were to rebuild at their original Bishop St. location, it would take a while before it's restored to something like it was — possibly two or three years.

Meanwhile, Cannon says they're exploring other possibilities, including relocating entirely. Plans to move to a vacant property on Crescent St. didn't materialize in time for St. Patrick's weekend.

"During the year, we've been talking to [Montreal restaurateur] Paul Nakis' group on Crescent St. They have an empty property at the corner of Crescent and De Maisonneuve, and we were looking to relocate the Irish Embassy there," Cannon said. "They reached out to us, which was very nice," Cannon said. "We were trying to get something done for St. Patrick's, but we just couldn't get it done in time."

Those talks are still going on, and Cannon hopes to have a deal in place to relocate to Crescent St. by Grand Prix weekend.