Bars of Barrie’s Past

Bars of Barrie’s Past

This blog is brought to you in partnership with The Queens Hometown Bar & Grill: The home of live music in Barrie and your destination for great food and great times!

The Queens has been a stalwart on the Barrie bar scene for over a century. 

A trove of boozecans, clubs, and bars have come and gone in the time since the Hometown pub served their first ale in 1853.

Scattered around the city, a host of saloons, clubs and public houses were destinations for locals to unwind over a Labatt 50, long before it become semi-ironic to do so.

In the ’80s and 90s, bars didn’t need a hook or a schtick to pull in a crowd. Beer and live music would do the trick.

Places like 55 Special, Ruannes, and the Welli were well worn by the youth of their day. Moreover, the mention of one or two of these late-night boozers is certain to trigger jovial regalements of nights that never seemed to end, first pints, first gigs, and loves lost and found.

Read on for a toast to Barrie’s lost bars and taverns, both recent and long ago!

Bars of Barrie’s Past


Gone but never forgotten, the Foxx closed their doors when the pandemic put the kibosh on gigs. The Queens has picked up the live music gauntlet and continues the Lounge’s tradition of bringing edgy and emerging local artists to the stage, but the Foxx is missed.


Another of the city’s longstanding live music venues, the Roxx was famous for their all age nights and summer performances from high end talent, both Canadian and international.


From 1987 to 1996, Ruannes was packed with weekend adventure seekers and lovers of live music. In fact, the venue was home to the Barrie music awards in the mid-nineties, handed out to the best of the best from the local scene.


It wasn’t really a weekend in Barrie until a school bus appeared at the Mansion to deposit a cluster of late night merriment seekers onto Dunlop street.


Downtown’s long standing oyster bar was a destination of choice for seafood and suds. By the same token, it was a frequent stopover on Barrie pub crawls.


Wednesdays. 55 Special. ‘Nuff Said.


A Barrie Advance entertainment article from ’91. How many night life spots from this roster did you visit?

These were just a few joints of bygone years. Pints and parties were found at Brookdale, Underground, Beefeater Arms, Dr. J’s, Goodfellas, Room 112, Peppercinni’s, Foundations, Rickijo’s, Above The Lot, and the Den.

If you crossed the threshold at any of Barrie’s long gone drinking establishments, share your pics and memories on our Insta page!

About the author

Stu Lynam

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments