Willy McGee’s Pub and Eatery to open in iconic Chatham building


The building formerly used as O’Donaghues Irish Pub will be renovated and reopened as Willy McGee’s Pub and Eatery after being purchased earlier this week by Bill Moffatt. The historic building had been operating as a pub for seven and a half years before closing its doors on April 13.

Willy McGee’s will remain an Irish pub although Moffatt plans to make a few key changes to the building. The upper floor is being converted into a sports-themed room with televisions and dart boards and the seating layout will change to accommodate more tables. Moffatt is looking to convert the iconic restaurant’s patio area to a solarium which can be used by patrons year-round.

However, as the building is a recognized historic site any cosmetic changes must be approved by the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture to preserve the pub’s overall aesthetic.

A menu has not yet been finalized but Moffett said they plan to offer pub-style staples such as fried and finger foods. When possible, Moffett and newly-appointed head chef Fraser Dougall plan to use locally sourced foods to support the community.

The new restaurant is expected to create eight to ten full and part time jobs in addition to the head chef.

Moffatt is originally from Muskoka, Ont. and has lived and worked in China for the past few years while building his company Phantom Snowmobiles. He is now living in Miramichi and, in addition to starting Willy McGee’s, has purchased the old Zellers building to house his business.

Moffatt says Willy McGee’s Pub and Eatery will open its doors as soon as possible and the restaurant should be ready for business before Christmas.


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