When the historical Montreal House closed its doors for a final time in late 2013, Ted and Addison Brown heard opportunity knocking. The father and son partners knew a good thing when they saw it and purchased the property with a specific intent in mind. They loved the history of the building, the ample parking, and its proximity to downtown. After some extensive renovations, on January 15th, Dr. J’s BBQ & Brews (282 Aylmer St) opened its doors for the first time and hit the ground running!
Named after Dr. Alexander and John Harvey who originally built the historical building in 1858, Dr. J’s has kept some of the past, but has brought a new feel to the property. Operating as a restaurant/pub and with owners who have an extensive background in the industry, Dr. J’s brings a distinctly different flavor to the downtown core. Specializing in southern cuisine, and featuring an authentic smoker brought in directly from Alabama, you know exactly what you’re getting as soon as you walk in the door.
Before opening, head chef Eric Hoflick went so far as to travel the southern United States in search of ideas and recipes to bring back to the great white north. His mission to learn was a major success and the menu is where Dr. J’s customers reap the rewards. From chicken and ribs, to brisket and pork shoulder, almost everything is smoked and absolutely nothing is skimped on. The menu features monster main courses, smaller sandwich options, and even vegetable options for those who aren’t meat eaters! A few of the house favorites include the ribs with a signature pineapple chipotle seasoning you won’t find anywhere else, the brisket on rye, and the pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw.
Everything is made fresh from scratch in house daily, and local suppliers are supported as much as possible. Being a pub as well, the beer menu can’t be missed with 30 different types available by the bottle and 14 different varieties on tap!
With food available during the day and into the night, Dr. J’s is an environment for everyone. The renovations they’ve done include new flooring, tables, washrooms, booths, and a separate party room for larger groups of up to 24 when needed.
The restaurant also transitions during the night into more of a pub type atmosphere. Keeping with the old tradition of being a great live music setting, Dr. J’s has kept a stage area and have live music every Friday and Saturday night. With televisions set up all around, there is always some type of game on and specials to go along with them, including beer deals during Leafs and Raptors games.
If you’re in the mood for a new food and drink experience, Addison and Ted invite you to come down to a building that everyone already knows. They know you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the changes and you won’t leave disappointed!