Failte’s closure in uptown Waterloo

Photo by Paige Bush

Cold, jagged white brick wraps around King St.’s hole-in-the-wall surrounded by more distinguished establishments like DVLB and The Pub on King, a broken lantern highlights the un-marked entrance to the bar and restaurant formerly known as Failte.

Maybe it was the distinct confusion of character that put the final nail in this restaurant’s coffin. While the decor was cheap and beaten and the windows were few, it gave the tiny, cramped space a unique character — it was a caricature of a real Irish pub. Yet it boasted a menu that didn’t capitalize on that singular ideal, offering the same simple entrees and appetizers standard to the sort of Molly Blooms’ brand restaurant it was: fake Irish.

“If you haven’t heard we are closed (sadly & not by choice)” is the only statement made by Failte, posted directly to their Facebook page.

Local restauranteur Devon McKenzie, owner of Night School, The Order and Stark & Perri, believes he knows exactly the thematic facelift required to make this tiny pub relevant again: by combining a unique mishmash of modern trends and transforming the space formerly known as Failte into the curiously named Becky’s Apartment, which officially opened on Jan. 3.

McKenzie described Becky as a fake character representative of “that one friend everyone has” — the one who’s always throwing crazy parties.

He likened the idea of the bar to the movie Project X, saying that with the advent of Facebook and Twitter, there’s such a quick exchange of information that it’s possible to throw enormous, incredible parties on short notice.

While the concept is based around a youthful, party environment, McKenzie constantly used the word “homey” to describe the ambiance.

The approach to the menu is locally sourced foods at competitive prices and totally disregards the assumed pub-food necessity of the deep-fryer — he described a $13 codfish plate he brought back from Kelowna, British Columbia to the menu, praising its use of flavourful, fresh ingredients and creative plating to define an exciting culinary experience without breaking the bank.

Becky’s Apartment will also boast a rotating string of taps featuring local beers from Wellington Brewery, Elora Brewery and Block Three.The bar’s identity is incredibly transitive — part of the intended charm. While there are going to be stacks of board games available for patrons to play, there will also be a DJ spinning records every Tuesday night.

The food and drink choices are going to be unique, flavourful experiences that capitalize on free-range and local products, but the bar will also be stocked with the standard Molson/Coors fixtures. While the space will be utilized to create interesting, foodie-centric experiences, there’s a simple kind of fun that lives within the spirit of the bar.

“I don’t want the message to get too mixed,” McKenzie said. “It’s going to be an awesome party.”

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