Pub Dunn prepares for 20th St. Patrick’s

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Though much has changed at the bar formerly known as Pub Thomas Dunn over the last year, at least one thing remains the same: The watering hole’s 20th annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration promises to be yet another epic party.

Sold by its original owner, Léon Gagnon, last year to veteran Quebec City restaurateur Luc Grandmont, the bar has undergone some minor changes, including a shortening of its name to Pub Dunn, and an updating of its drink and food menus.

However, the bar’s new owner has made a conscious effort to maintain its Irish roots.

“Léon Gagnon died just before the sale [of the bar] was completed, so it was very important to me to carry it on in a similar way,” said Grandmont.

Léon Gagnon was well known as the proprietor of the city’s foremost emporium of fine scotches and imported beers.

With green-painted walls, Guinness on tap and enough whiskey to float a boat in, the bar also became a gathering place for Quebec City’s sizable Irish community.

Though Grandmont did paint over the pub’s green walls with “a more urban colour,” he has made sure to stay well stocked with kegs of Guinness (“a very important drink for the Irish”) and the unparalleled selection of single malt scotches on which Thomas Dunn built his bar’s reputation.

In addition, Grandmont has introduced an extensive wine list, most of which is available by the glass, and an exotic new element to the menu: tartines, a bar food he discovered while in France.

“Tartines was really the vision I had for this bar,” he explained. “I went to Paris several times over the last years and discovered this food. It’s a big slice of bread, toasted and garnished with whatever you can think of: goat cheese, duck confit, eggplant puree … anything! It’s a real bar cuisine.”

On March 17, however, the Gallic will take a back seat to the Gaelic, as Grandmont will mount the bar’s 20th annual St. Patty’s Day bacchanal.

The day begins with a breakfast, served at 7:30 and again at 9:30 a.m., of Scotch eggs on English muffins accompanied by an Irish coffee. Then, at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., a lunch of Guinness-themed dishes will be served, including various meats cooked in the famous stout. Finally, the festivities will get fully underway at 5 p.m. when the Green Devils, a traditional Irish band, will begin their night-long set.

If it all sounds good, fret not; you needn’t choose. “Some people show up at 8 a.m. and don’t leave until one the next morning,” Grandmont said, clarifying, “but they’re not usually standing by that point.”

Though Pub Dunn’s walls may no longer be green, Grandmont assured the QCT that the bar’s St. Patrick’s Day beer certainly will be.