The Ottawa Rickshaws Blog

Street-level Perspective of Ottawa
Mayflower Restaurant to Close: The End of a Local Haunt

Mayflower Restaurant to Close: The End of a Local Haunt


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By Adam Slight

While reasons remain undisclosed, the beloved Mayflower Restaurant located on Elgin St. has announced that will no longer be open for business come this October. This news has caused much despair with the many locals who have called The Mayflower a second home for its past 37 years of business. The Mayflower has served as a local haunt for many, serving a famous affordable breakfast menu, and late night drinks that have no doubt led to countless stories spun, blissful stumbles home, and only marginally regretful mornings.

It’s establishments like Mayflower Restaurant that give a city its character, which makes it all the sadder that this establishment will be no more.

With Elgin Street commerce continuing to thrive, the community can only speculate to the causes of its closure. Opened by a Polish refugee Walter Krepski who fled the communist regime in 1949 by stowing away on a cargo ship, the Mayflower Restaurant was one of Ottawa’s first English-style pubs, sporting a distinct nautical theme honouring the well-known Mayflower ship that first sailed across the Atlantic from Europe in 1620. Much of its interior furnishing has been untouched since opening.

Many shocked patrons are calling for some benevolent entrepreneur to buy up Mayflower Restaurant to save it from being replaced by a dreaded Starbucks, McDonald’s, or other franchise retailer. For the sake of protecting a relic of Ottawa’s unpolished character, I’d have to say this isn’t a bad call to action.