Roosters Country Cabaret set to close after sale to Surrey-based chain

Roosters Country Cabaret will close its doors for good this month after being sold to the Joseph Richard Group, a Surrey-based restaurant chain.

The popular country and western-themed Pitt Meadows bar is inviting people to get on the guest list for its final weekend, and ride the mechanical bull one last time before it says goodbye on Sunday, Jan. 20.

Extensive renovations will begin in the space the following month, as JRG, which has 25 restaurants in B.C. and Alberta, including a Townhall Restaurant in Maple Ridge, gets set to open a new bar in its place by late summer or fall.

“We have felt the location and space is perfect for what we are doing,” said JRG CEO Ryan Moreno, in a news release.

According to the release, the company has been looking to expand its network of public houses into Pitt Meadows for some time, and was “very excited” when an opportunity to acquire Roosters came up. The sale was finalized earlier this week.

Few details about JRG’s new establishment have been provided, though JRG said the plan is to connect with a community that already has a “great vibe and demographic for what we want to do there.”

Whether that means the new bar will continue in Roosters’ country tradition — or continue to offer five-cent wings and $2 beers — remains to be seen, though Moreno said the company was “sensitive” to the Pitt Meadows bar’s history, which includes launching the career of Vancouver-born country singer Aaron Pritchett, who used to DJ there.

The bar was also known for its famously rowdy crowds; police were often called to break up fights that spilled out into the Roosters parking lot.

A legendary, 60-person brawl in 2003 was described by Ridge Meadows RCMP as “total chaos.”

But for many in the Fraser Valley and Tri-Cities, Roosters will be fondly remembered as a rite of passage, the site of their first drinks upon reaching legal age.

“It literally was my first rodeo,” tweeted Vancouver resident Sheena Gibbons.

Former UBC students often talk in hushed tones about taking a party bus to Pitt Meadows for long, tipsy nights at the country cabaret, where the food and beer was cheap, and the dance floor was full.

“There are certainly deep roots within the community and will most certainly be a lot of feedback and opinion from many around the Lower Mainland. Some welcome the change, others never want it,” said Moreno. “Either way, our goal is to always celebrate and continue on the elements that made this location successful for many years in the past, while enhancing it and bringing new elements for guests to appreciate.”

hmooney@postmedia.com


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