Could the Hawkesbury Hawks be going into the bar business? 

On November 29, Hawkesbury town council approved a recommendation to begin discussions with the Junior A hockey club about having it take over the operations of the bar in the community hall at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex.  

The Department of Recreation and Tourism presently manages the bar directly. According to a report from department Director Samuel Cardarelli, the bar has run a deficit since 2019 and the service has not been offered at all in 2021 due to a lack of qualified personnel. Reopening the bar with minimal service would require significant effort for a few nights each week between the fall and early spring. The department has no immediate plans to reopen the bar. 

Early in the fall of 2021, the Hawks organization approached the Department of Recreation and Tourism with an expression of interest in taking over bar operations. The Junior A hockey club has operated the canteen at the sports complex since 2016. The department recommends aligning the bar service with the canteen operated by the Hawks so the bar may reopen. 

Councillor André Chamaillard asked for clarification that bar operations were not being immediately transferred to the Hawks. 

Mayor Paula Assaly said the recommendation was only to begin discussions. 

“It’s simply to begin discussions for negotiations,” Cardarelli emphasized. 

Councillor Robert Lefebvre asked if the town has a separate liquor licence for events held outside the sports complex. Cardarelli said special occasion liquor permits are required for those events. 

“Have other organizations mentioned their interest?” inquired Assaly. 

Cardarelli said no other organizations have yet expressed interest, and the outcome of considerations for the Hawks to operate the bar will depend on the progress of negotiations.