Comment 59946

By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted February 17, 2011 at 22:15:36

Though I don't anymore, I was working in the area at the time, and from my experience it was a VERY brief period that people were suspicious of what would happen. It was only when they didn't have enough information. They started to dialogue with people as the building was going on, and because of that communication people soon realized what was happening was very different from what was there in the past.

I didn't meet every single person involved, but it really seemed that overall, as soon as people realized the character of the people opening the place up, their plans for the space, and their efforts to dialogue with the community, it reversed pretty quickly. A strategic move on someone's part (not sure who) was certainly to get the Strathcona Neighbourhood Association holding events in Rolly's -- whoever initiated that, it certainly helped things.

It also meant I was in the rare position of writing the city a letter from the church (with encouragement from my boss) saying "Please, we want this bar down the street - please give them their liquor license."

I don't know if I remember who initiated it (maybe McHattie, who lives quite near it) but there was an idea to limit their liquor license to serve until 11 p.m. only. Several people quickly said that Rolly's was a good addition and they shouldn't be limited. I wasn't involved in speaking to that aspect, but people spoke in support of Rolly's even in that stage.

My extended family on both sides loves the place -- and I'm glad to give them something to like about Hamilton when they come here.

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