In the winter of 1993, an old friend and myself decided to plan a trip to London England. His father was originally from there, and we had talked about making the trip for a number of years. At the end of July 1994 of we went to stay with my friends extended family for 2 and a half weeks. Among the many things I wanted to do after heading over was visit every pub in the immediate area, (little did I know that there is literally a pub on every corner).
We did the usual touristy things of visiting the many historic landmarks, which I particularly enjoy, (had a great time irritating my buddy running around the hedge maze at Hampton Court- nudge, nudge, wink, wink). While running around the city we quickly became regulars in the evenings at a local Pub named the Castle, on Wimbledon Hill. The Old World charm of the place, the gracious hosts, the fantastic regulars, and the just general atmosphere of this great public house immediately struck me.
At this time in my life I was in my early 20’s, and had been working for a number of years as a service manager at a motorcycle repair shop. Coming home from this fantastic trip, I realized my outlook on things had unintentionally changed. I wanted to own and operate my own pub.
As things sometime work in life, not to many years later my wife and I had the opportunity to purchase the old Grand Hotel, which had been operating as the Red Onion Tavern for 20 years, and briefly as another bar for less than a year when it came up for sale. It wasn’t the pub I had envisioned certainly but it was a start, we jumped in with both feet and away we went.
Although I had sold my wife on the idea of a pub at the start it wasn’t in the cards for the first number of years of operation. It took 10 years of building the business and paying down debt before we were comfortable enough to renovate part of the building and turn it into what is now called The Tankhouse Pub, which opened in the summer of 2009.
Although we liked what we had come up with I always considered it unfinished. In the summer of 2015 we took the last step, which is what I called the less club more pub option. It took 22 years of trials and tribulations, from idea to fruition and in February 2016 we officially reopened The Tankhouse Pub into what it is today. As one regular affectionately calls it, (you know who you areJ) The Best Neighborhood Pub in Downtown Peterborough.
I hope you enjoy it. Al Nelson