PEI’s Outriders Cookhouse Restaurant is transformed into a sports bar
CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — A Charlottetown restaurant gets a new identity as it undergoes a facelift and rebranding.
Outriders Cookhouse, which has operated in Sherwood Business Park for nearly a decade, will reopen as Coach’s Sports Bar and Restaurant.
“We came up with a vision to tidy up what used to be here, which was Outriders, and give it a facelift with a new decor downstairs, a new name, a new menu,” said Isaac Pitre, general manager. of Coach’s, during an interview.
“We are in a growing community, and we see it as a place that will continue to grow. In terms of restaurants, there isn’t much here. Boston Pizza and Montana’s are nearby, but many places are either out of town or downtown.
Coaches will be divided into two levels. The lower level will function as a pub-style restaurant for those wishing to have a sit-down meal, socialize with friends or family, and listen to live music. There will also be televisions for those who want to watch the game in a more relaxed environment.
The second level will house Coach’s dedicated sports bar, which will feature TVs, a bar, seating for people to congregate and later hours than the restaurant – remaining open until 12 p.m. every evening.
“If anyone wants to come here, sit at the bar and have beers, they’re welcome. It might be a little louder with the games going on, it’s a different type of crowd. low, it checks the boxes for whoever it is,” Pitre said.
In March 2021, Kent Scales, co-owner of the Olde Dublin Pub, Claddagh Oyster House and The Local, bought Outriders and operated it until December 28 when it was closed for refurbishment.
The restaurant has since been gutted from top to bottom to make way for the new dining room as well as the new upstairs bar.
“It’s going to have the same top-down feel, kind of a rustic industrial feel to tie it to the industrial park,” said Marly Anderson, project manager. “It’s more of a pub vibe, I think. It will be comfortable for whoever enters.
Incorporating this industrial environment around the restaurant, as well as the history of the area, was important when creating the Coach’s brand, Pitre said.
“The name is not only related to sport, but also touches on the history of railways in the region,” he said. “The old Prince Edward Island Railway passed through here. The coach is a transport system and it somehow connects the old railway with the current industrial vibe. It was also a central area where people came to congregate in the community, so we wanted to add a place for people to do just that.
As well as a meaningful brand and pub-style presentation, Pitre said they want to keep things fresh, local and consistent when it comes to their food.
“I find that in Prince Edward Island a lot of people like to support local products, but with the chains a lot of them don’t bring local products like Larkin Farms chicken or MacQuarrie’s Meats , getting it all fresh from the harvest,” he said. “Everything will be fresh and homemade as much as possible,” Anderson added, “so you’re getting something a little higher than typical pub food.”
Both Anderson and Pitre said they want to source as much local produce as possible, including food, drink and even entertainment.
As for Coach’s opening date, Pitre said they’re aiming for mid-to-late February. The restaurant is still under construction, with the lower level of the restaurant largely empty.
Outside of construction, the restaurant is in the process of hiring staff, which they need much more with the new upstairs space.
“It’s just a bigger operation than what’s been here in the past,” Anderson said. “We think we’re going to be pretty busy even with COVID-19. There is a lot of space to spread over the two levels, so we need more staff to open everything.
So far, the response to the change has been positive, and despite creating a new menu and revamping the restaurant as a whole, Pitre said there was one thing they wouldn’t change.
“What will remain the same is the relationship with the customer,” he said. “I know when people came to Outriders they loved it because when they walked in the door people knew their name, and that’s not going to change. We are equally motivated in this aspect. Obviously, there are changes, but it’s up to others to give us a chance.
Things to know
- To follow the evolution and the possible opening of the Coach’s Restaurant and Sports Bar, follow his Facebook page
Cody McEachern is a business reporter with the SaltWire Network in Prince Edward Island.