For the first time in a long time, a new pub is coming to Esquimalt, and local officials are voicing their excitement.
The Township of Esquimalt and Aragon Properties, in a joint press release, say a “keystone retail space” at Esquimalt Town Square has been leased to restaurant operator Demian Merino, who plans to open Saxe Point Public House.
The pub will be located in the front commercial space and “will add to the vitality of Esquimalt’s busy core,” says the township’s Mayor Barbara Desjardins.
It’ll be “classic pub fare — but with a twist,” reads the release. It’s named after Saxe Point Park, a waterfront park on Fraser Street, and “aims to bring that neighbourhood pub feel,” catering “to both families [and] social groups.”
The space, located at the corner of Park Place and Esquimalt Road, is 2,930 square feet and within the Town Square, which is also home to other retail space, the Greater Victoria Public Library Esquimalt branch, and a residential building.
Esquimalt Municipal Hall is adjacent to the Town Square.
Esquimalt’s only pub in a ‘prime location,’ says mayor
On Monday, Desjardins, Merino and Lenny Moy, president of Aragon Properties, are set to speak at a press conference officially announcing Saxe Point Public House.
There is currently no pub in Esquimalt, though some are located just outside the township. Gorge Pointe Pub and Liquor Store, a long-standing pub in Esquimalt, closed its doors in 2021.
“The prime location at the Esquimalt Town Square makes the venue accessible by foot, car, bus and bike. I’m looking forward to seeing Demian’s vision come to life over the next few months,” said Desjardins.
The township says Merino was born and raised in Victoria and has been in the restaurant business for more than 30 years. He formerly worked for Freehouse Collective in Vancouver and, more recently, was the general manager of the Victoria Pub Company, which operates Bard & Banker and Irish Times.
“With his vast experience in the local hospitality business, we felt that Demian would be a perfect fit,” said Moy of Aragon Properties, the company that redeveloped the former public works yard into the Town Square it is today.
“(Merino) looks forward to bringing his breadth of experience to his first independent venture at Saxe Point Public House,” reads the release.
The pub is slated to open in spring 2024.