An Interview With Summer Baird Of The Hintonburg Public House
What inspired the foundation of The Hintonburg Public House?
I was looking to open a new food-related business and found living in Hintonburg [that] there were a lot of fine-dining options, tavern and pubs where my young daughter and I or my friends would go but nowhere in between that we could get a quality product, in a casual atmosphere, at an affordable price. So I decided that a gastropub was just the thing the area needed. My background was in fine dining as a chef, so I took the concept of well-made food, quality drink and professional service and applied it in a more casual, home-style, friendly way.
How would you describe your pub’s atmosphere?
The HPH has a warm and inviting atmosphere. Our artwork changes bi-monthly, keeping the space unique while helping to support the local art scene. Our clientele are a fun mix of professionals and families from the neighbourhood and beyond.
Do you have any particularly intriguing stories from the pub?
Nothing that I can disclose. What happens at The HPH, stays at The HPH, but we do have a resident who has started to share her stories. Check out #HPHSusan and follow her adventures for the inside scoop.
What’s the drinking culture like in Ottawa?
I find the drinking culture in Ottawa has changed a lot over the past ten years. There is now a huge demand for craft beer and all things local. Having so many craft breweries to choose from and local distilleries opening, it’s getting better and better. Not to mention the close proximity to Prince Edward County, which in my opinion produces some of the best wines in the country. Cocktails as well in many locations are made with a lot of thought and care with quality products. There still is a time and place for the basics, which I always appreciate, and love that there are still taverns I can go to to get a 50.
Any guilty pleasures?
Bourbon cocktails in the evening and HPH Caesars the morning after a fun night out.
Where would you advise culture lovers to visit in Ottawa?
I love to frequent local art galleries and check out what is happening in the food scene. Some favorites are PDA Projects and Town on Elgin, the Ottawa Art Gallery for fun art events, Wallspace and Wellington Gastropub in the west end and The Moonroom for late-night cocktails and the most delicious buttery popcorn in town, maybe even ever.
What can we expect from The Hintonburg in the future?
We are always looking for fun new events to host in the space or within the community, so it’s safe to say anything can happen. Craft beer helps to create some crafty ideas, especially paired with the creatives that come into the pub.
We also hope to expand to the streets in 2017 if the city of Ottawa’s Street Side Spot pilot project becomes permanent. A patio would be a great addition to the area and the restaurant.
The Hintonburg Public House is one of the winners of The Culture Trip’s Ottawa Local Favorite 2016 Award. The Local Favorite badge is awarded to our favorite local towns, restaurants, artists, galleries, and everything in between. We are passionate about showcasing popular local talents on a global scale, so we have cultivated a carefully selected, but growing community.