Guelph’s Great Meeting Place
Perhaps the Wooly concept is best represented by renowned Canadian artist Charlie Pachter’s "Queen on a Moose” paintings. These pictures conveyed what would happen if a British pub was transferred to Canada. That pub would feature local foods, beverages and decor. It would be an "All-Canadian” pub featuring the best of the British pub culture. A "local” or home-base pub for its guests.
The Wooly was inspired by the Ontario micro-brewery "explosion” that occurred in the late 1980’s. The brewery industry was dominated by 3 large companies for over 40 years until the start of the craft brewery phenomenon. Teaching a course on beers at the University of Guelph Bob Desautels was keenly aware of this development. When an opportunity to open a pub in downtown Guelph emerged he decided to feature only small micro-brews on tap.
The rest is history!
A Landmark Business
People often ask "How did the Wooly become such a landmark business?” We believe it is as a result of the many repeat patron visits over the years. We also think part of our popularity probably comes as a result of the very language we use and the accompanying values they imply. For example, we don’t call our patrons ‘customers’, to us they are guests. Our goal has always been to treat our guests as if they were coming into our own homes. Along with our sustainable operational practices including a focus on locally crafted foods & beverages the ‘guest in our home’ philosophy has resulted in a parade of individuals and groups that continues to increase year over year.
All of our professional and welcoming staff members enjoy the diversity of ‘our’ crowd. Pub events have included beer-tastings, food festivals, whisky nosings, Slow Food meetings, Cuisine Canada feasts, "cities meet farmers” symposiums, fundraisers for our rivers, BBQ patio parties and even political gatherings. The Wooly has hosted national, provincial and local party leaders of a few persuasions and a number of celebrities, as well.
But our favourite of all the people who patronize the pub are our very own regulars. Hell, we even have a band that plays some Saturday Music Nights that call themselves ‘The Regulars’! Week in, week out, folks have turned us into their second home. It has become their ‘local’ and we’re flattered.
Thanks to everyone who’s helped establish the Wooly as one of Guelph’s "Great Meeting Places!” Cheers!