Esquimalt’s Tudor House may rise from ashes this year

A rebuild is still on tap for Esquimalt’s historic Tudor House Pub, lost to a fire on July 16, 2013 after 109 years as a popular community watering hole.

It’s hoped that reconstruction will get underway this year, said manager Tim Dumas.

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He said a major chunk of insurance money has yet to be paid out, contributing to the delay.

An architect hired by the owners —Dirty Digger Holdings Ltd, formerly known as Jadwiga Holdings Ltd. and Rambo Management Ltd. — is working with the township on potential plans.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins is eager to see the landmark up and running again and finds it encouraging that representatives have come in to talk to staff.

“This is a key corner and commercial node in our community,” Desjardins said.

“I know the military misses it and just about anybody in that area of town.”

The Tudor’s origins as a pub date back to 1935 — a time when Victoria was dry. The tower was added in 1969 and the liquor store in 2004.

The pub and restaurant had about 275 seats as well as a private liquor store, which is still part of any new plan, Dumas said.

He expects the structure to eventually have a familiar Tudoresque look, which was accentuated when the original tower was added in 1969.

The original building opened in 1904 as the Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Home for the military and merchant navy with then-premier Richard McBride on the scene.

In 1912, it was the site of Esquimalt’s incorporation and in 1919, a visit from the Prince of Wales.

The assessed value of the 46,000-square-foot property at 533 Admirals Rd., at Esquimalt Road, is $2.51 million.

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