‘The Jug’ is mov­ing

One of the old­est bars in Char­lot­te­town go­ing up­stairs

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - BY BRIAN MCINNIS

“Some­times you wanna go Where ev­ery­body knows your name

and they’re al­ways glad you came.”

- lyrics from the TV se­ries “Cheers”

Those lines sum up the feel­ings peo­ple have when they ex­plain why they love “the Jug.”

The Jug is The Smug­glers Jug in the base­ment of Canadas Best Value Inn and Suites on Cap­i­tal Drive in Char­lot­te­town.

It has been a fix­ture since the late ‘60s and mo­tel man­ager Nancy Les­lie said she has been told by an in­spec­tor for the P.E.I. Liquor Con­trol Com­mis­sion that it is one of old­est bars still op­er­at­ing in the Char­lot­te­town area.

It has a loyal clien­tele who have been com­ing to the es­tab­lish­ment since they were of le­gal drink­ing age and, if truth be known, some were not ex­actly hon­est about their age when asked at the door. But the bar was the hot spot so some kids did what had to be done to get in­side.

It is be­ing moved up­stairs to the main floor of the mo­tel be­cause it would be too costly to ren­o­vate it to meet fire safety codes, Les­lie said. The new place should be open in Fe­bru­ary and the Jug will re­main open un­til then.

Les­lie said the own­ers are un­de­cided if the name will move with the bar or if a new one will be cho­sen.

But one thing is cer­tain and that is the dé­cor will be dif­fer­ent and the new digs may be a bit smaller.

Some of the long­time pa­trons have made it clear they would like to have some of the unique dec­o­ra­tions to take home for their own rec rooms. Some­one has even ex­pressed an in­ter­est in the wooden bar be­cause it has the names of some drinkers carved into the well-worn wood. A model ship on the wall also has some­one’s name on it.

The man­age­ment is un­sure what will hap­pen to the old bar’s knick­knacks.

Les­lie said she is un­cer­tain of the full his­tory of the Jug and the mo­tel, but says it was given to the late David Rodd and his wife by Rodd’s father, Wally, in the 1970s. Then it was named The Rodd Con­fed­er­a­tion Inn and Suites.

The cur­rent own­ers, Bill and Kathy McInnis of Sum­mer­side, bought the mo­tel five years ago.

Les­lie said there were a lot of mem­o­ries made in the Jug and at least one mar­riage was the re­sult of an out­ing to the bar.

Al­lan and Deb­bie Aten of Spring­vale, met at the Jug more than 30 years ago.

“We never met be­fore that night,” Al­lan said in an in­ter­view Satur­day night dur­ing the bar’s cel­e­bra­tion of its loom­ing clo­sure. Old timers came to rem­i­nis­cence and re­live old mem­o­ries and to hoist a beer or two.

Aten said they danced and had a few drinks that night, but it was seven years be­fore they tied the knot. They still visit the bar sev­eral times a year.

“We used to come here ev­ery week pretty near, 30 years ago,” Aten said.

BRIAN MCINNIS/THE GUARDIAN

Nancy Les­lie, left, man­ager of Canadas Best Value Inn and Suites in Char­lot­te­town and bar­tender Donna Spence were on hand to keep pa­trons happy dur­ing a re­cent party in the Smug­glers Jug that was held to give the reg­u­lars a chance to re­mem­ber the good old times in The Jug.

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