Emerald Park restaurant and bar, The Ice House, closes shop after 32 years

The Ice House Tavern and Restaurant shuts down. Dave Parsons/GlobalNews

A community restaurant and bar in Emerald Park is shutting down after it was sold by the owner.

The Ice House restaurant and bar has been a staple of the community for 32 years, and was passed down through generations of the Kish family.

According to owner Joel Kish, “My wife and I have owned it for over 10 years. We bought it out from my mom and dad, and they had built it back in 1991.”

According to the owners, the liquor store and restaurant have been sold.

The Kish family decided to put the business on the market after the government began selling their liquor stores.

“Just with the government liquor stores selling when they did, we just figured, let’s take a shot. We put our licence up for sale and also the business just to see what happens,” Kish said.

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Kish says the liquor store will remain open and continue its operations like it had done in the last eight years.  The building is now on the path to become a Browns Crafthouse.

“So, the liquor store is going to stay open the whole time. There’s going to be no changes at all except a new owner. It’s going to be Browns Crafthouse; that’s what the new owners tell me,” Kish said.

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“It’s going to be the first craft house in the province. So, it’s going to be kind of under the same umbrella as the Browns, but it’s going to be different than the Brown Social House.”

The Ice House is saying goodbye to its loyal customers and the Kish family, for whom it’s been like a second home.

Looking back at how far they have come as a business, Kish remembered the good old days.

“I can’t even begin to tell you all the memories that we’ve got. I think probably the bulk of it is on Sunday nights afterwards after all the long week, we would order Chinese food and sit down here as a family. We also have family Christmas here,” Kish said.

The Ice House Tavern and Restaurant’s last day of operation is Friday 22. On Sept. 23, a cabaret will be hosted to celebrate 32 years of success.

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“From the bottom of our hearts it has truly been an honour for our family to serve this community for the last 32 years. We cannot thank you all enough for your loyal patronage and support,” Kish said.

The restaurant also played a major role to many people living in White City and Emerald Park.

“I am excited for change,” Kish said. “I’m sad that the Ice House is not going to be part of the community anymore. It’s been a hub of the community for a very long time. But I feel like we’re leaving on a high note and the new plans that’s going to come in, is something new that would be great.”

Amanda Delesoy has been coming to the Ice House for as long as the restaurant been open.

“My mum use to work here for about 15 years, lots of memories here when it first opened. As a kid growing up here, we used to come in for fries on Saturday with dad. And now I’m bringing my daughter who’s grown,” Delesov said.

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