Leg­endary nightlife spot chang­ing with the times

If walls could speak, the two build­ings on the cor­ner of Inglis Place and Es­planade Street could tell sto­ries for days

The Amherst News - - SECOND LIFE - BY CODY MCEACHERN TRURO DAILY NEWS cody.mceachern@truro­daily.com

TRURO - As Down­town Truro has grown and evolved over the years, two leg­endary build­ings have taken on a sec­ond life in a very dif­fer­ent form.

While the old Ware­house Bars build­ings haven’t changed much on the out­side, the sights and sounds of the once boom­ing nightlife hotspot has been re­placed by hot cof­fee, hot shaves, new age learn­ing and ex­treme sports.

“These build­ings are leg­endary be­cause of all the stuff that has passed through them,” said Mitch Cooke.

“They are built like a fortress with the old wooden beams, and would be re­ally hard to re­build or repli­cate them again.”

Cooke had moved his skate shop, H.A.F. Skate and Tat­too, into the for­mer Keg­ger’s lo­ca­tion af­ter he pur­chased the prop­erty last year.

In need of more space for his shop, he chose the build­ings not

only be­cause of its space, lo­ca­tion, and his­tory, but also be­cause of op­por­tune tim­ing.

“Every­thing kind of fell into place with it,” said Cooke.

“We had to jump through a lot of red tape to get into the place, but

it was all about op­por­tu­nity. When we de­cided to move, the build­ing came up for sale at the right time and seemed like the right fit.”

Cooke also moved his other com­pany Ji­molly’s Bak­ery Café into the prop­erty, tak­ing over the for­mer lo­ca­tion of The Loft.

“The idea was to buy the build­ing and put it all un­der one roof. We had a lot more space and no longer pay­ing rent was nice,” he said.

Be­fore Cooke pur­chased the cor­ner prop­er­ties, they were a large part of the Truro nightlife, hous­ing three dif­fer­ent bars in­clud­ing Chevy’s Bar, Rustlers Cabaret, and Keg­ger’s Ale­house, as well as The Loft later on.

Shar­ing the cor­ner with H.A.F. and Ji­molly’s is Sun­stone Academy, a pri­vate el­e­men­tary school.

The Tweed Suit, a tra­di­tional bar­ber­shop of­fer­ing old school hot towel and straight ra­zor shaves, is also lo­cated in a sec­tion of the Ware­house Bars build­ing.

Stay­ing in the down­town area was im­por­tant for Cooke, as the area car­ries the same vibe and feel­ing as his shop, some­thing that is miss­ing in the more in­dus­trial area of Ro­bie Street.

“Down­town is where it’s at, its way cooler,” he said,

“Out near Ro­bie Street, it is all drive-through traf­fic. Try­ing to get out of there sucks, and we aren’t try­ing to com­pete with the mall. Malls have no char­ac­ter, which is what we wanted - char­ac­ter.”

Be­ing in busi­ness for al­most a decade, Cooke has watched the down­town area grow and de­velop with his busi­ness, bring­ing in more events and stores to the area, and shift­ing to­wards a more youth­ful ap­proach.

“The town is start­ing to do a lot of stuff now, lots of events,” he said.

“Some of their ideas don’t suit us at all, such as se­niors’ ex­pos and stuff like that, but they are try­ing to cater to ev­ery­body as best they can. I think the town is try­ing re­ally hard to make this place a pro­gres­sive, hip town and I’m all on board.”

CODY MCEACHERN - TRURO DAILY NEWS

Mitch Cooke, owner of H.A.F. Skate and Tat­too and co-owner of Ji­molly’s Bak­ery, pur­chased the Ware­house Bars build­ings af­ter he be­gan look­ing for a new store­front for his shop. Re­main­ing down­town was im­por­tant to him, as he sees it as the spot to be for busi­nesses like his.

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