New Hudson pub set to open mid-July
PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO
Some familiar faces will be part of Hudson’s new Cameron Public House in the old Cunninghams Pub building as former staffers from the nearby Château du Lac and the Auberge Willow Inn have been hired at the establishment whose owners hope to open by mid-July.
Global pandemic and a longstanding nearby bar closure notwithstanding, the new owners who are taking over the former Cunninghams Pub Hudson location are optimistically looking forward to opening what will be dubbed ‘The Cameron Public House’ in mid-July.
“I fell in love with this area just driving down the hill from Harwood,” said Charlie Ghorayeb in a sit-down interview with The Journal earlier this week. Ghorayeb, along with his son Michael, currently owns and operates the BLVD Bar & Grill in Châteauguay. The two have paired up with Tony Fewkes and Jeff Oberfeld to launch their new ‘UK style pub’ that will have upscale dining options and their own personal take on the typical pub fare. The mid-July ‘soft-opening’ will be followed by an official kick-off sometime later in August.
Ghorayeb said he was sold on the idea of the location before even making it onto Main Road to take in the rest of Hudson’s village atmosphere.
“I’ve met so many great people who love this town including business people, retail owners, restaurant owners… all of whom want to make Hudson successful. There’s a small town mentality with a nice feel.”
PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO
(Left to right) Michael Ghorayeb, Charlie Ghorayeb, Jeff Oberfeld and Tony Fewkes, the new owners of the Cameron Public House that will occupy the former Cunninghams Pub location in Hudson, vow to maintain the signature cozy atmosphere while serving up food and beer reminiscent of UK-styled pubs.
Cunninghams closed in September, 2019 a little over 10 years after it opened. While there were tentative plans to reopen under the ‘Ye Olde Orchard Pub’ banner, that deal fell through. As reported in The Journal June 11, a similar plan for ‘Ye Olde Orchard’ to take over the Château du Lac bar and hotel on Main Road never materialized. That facility has now closed operations and the 146-year-old building is currently up for sale.
The Cameron Public House owners have no plans to drastically modify or expand the existing structure. “We feel it has a lot of character for our purposes and our needs,” said Fewkes. “To make it more modern and more generic, it would have lost a lot of its atmosphere.”
“We wanted to adapt to what the building has to offer,” echoed Ghorayeb.
The new owners say they plan to use food and beverage products from their fellow business owners in the area for their updated menu that Ghorayeb describes as, “food you know with our own original twist.”
While there’s a name change and a new menu, customers will see some familiar faces as much of the staff formerly worked at the Château du Lac or at the famed Auberge Willow Inn which is temporarily closed to the public.
“Let me tell you a story about this staff,” Ghorayeb said. “I’ve been in business close to 40 years. I have never, in my life, interviewed 15 people all of whom I would have hired on the spot.” After the 15th interview without a single negative vibe, Ghorayeb realized he had his full roster of staffers.
Expect to see live music from local talent who, in keeping with COVID-19 restrictions, will perform on the terrace in the warmer months. The tables are placed at 5-foot distances and Ghorayeb said his kitchen and wait staff will be wearing the requisite hair nets, masks, and face shields. “The washing and wiping is literally obsessive, exactly the way it’s supposed to be.”
While the pub and terrace concept remains in place on the main floor, the upper level will offer more of a fine dining experience with white tablecloths and three table d’hôte options. “We want to give people a nice place to come for a date to relax and enjoy themselves.” Wine-lover Ghorayeb is currently curating a choice of reasonably-priced bottles and plans to hold wine-tastings at a later date.
The owners stress that while they’re making changes and upgrades, the building will retain its original comfort and charm.
“It reminds me of what I was used to when I was brought up in England,” said Fewkes. “People will remember it as Cunninghams but once they walk through that door, it’s not Cunninghams. It’s going to be a nice cozy place, as a pub should be.”