When two Irish immigrants landed in Canada in the late 1970s, Heart and Crown Irish Pubs was just a dream… But when Larry Bradley, from Omagh, Co. Tyrone, met Pat Kelly, from Galway, Co. Galway, a spark was lit. Labourers by trade, these two intrepid Irishmen went on to form Bradley-Kelly Construction, and flourished in their first business venture. But by the late 1980’s, the construction business was slowing down and the pair contemplated whether it was time to make a long time dream a reality; to open an Irish pub in the city they now called home.
In 1992, the daring duo took a big risk and opened their first pub in an unfrequented area of the ByWard Market. Unlike today, Clarence Street was barren and had very little to offer locals or tourists alike. But despite this, they forged ahead and on April 19th, 1992 the Heart & Crown Irish Pub opened its doors for the first time. Almost immediately, the Irish community flocked to the new watering hole for cold pints, live music and a wee bit of craic!
By the mid 1990s, the Heart & Crown had become one of Ottawa’s favourite pubs and in 1997, it doubled in size with the addition of the Snug Pub. Reminiscent of ale houses back in Ireland, the Snug is a cozy little pub where, if the mood strikes, it’s not uncommon to hear patrons break out into song. In 2001, the pub doubled its size once again with the addition of Mother McGintey’s Pub and the Black Rose creating what would become known as Ottawa’s “Irish Village”.
In 2004, the Aulde Dubliner & Pour House, located at the corner of George and William Streets came into the fold. The pub offers succulent pub fare, live entertainment and a second-level mezzanine patio with a beautiful view of the ByWard Market.
In April of 2007, the company acquired another well-known Ottawa establishment, James Street Feed Company, re-named James Street Pub, located at 390 Bank Street. A working class sports tavern, it’s seen its share of upgrades over the years, including the addition of Bank Street’s largest patio, but it never lost its charm.
Later that year, Larry and Pat decided it was time to open the long awaited second Heart & Crown location on Preston Street, in the heart of Little Italy. A street full of character (and a few characters!) it was the perfect fit for a state of the art pub where traditional and modern styles blend into a distinctly Irish look and feel.
A third Heart & Crown Pub opened in December of 2014 in the Ottawa suburb of Barrhaven. This beautifully crafted pub, designed and built in Ireland, is quickly becoming the place to be in ‘The Haven’.