Eating & Drinking

How about gourmet hotdogs beside a waterfall this hot Canada Day?

When Andre Schad and his wife and Chantal Biro-Schad, owners of the eponymous fashion boutique on Sussex Drive, branched out last spring to open Tavern on the Hill in Major’s Hill Park, they had no idea that they’d have the smash hit of the summer on their hands.

Now, they’ve expanded the haute hot dog concept to another sublime spot to take advantage of Ottawa river views, the Gatineau Hills in the distance, and the Rideau Falls, cascading close by. Tavern on the Falls will offer a huge wooden deck with chunky planters, seating and tables for 225, as well as fire pits, vintage style string lights, giant red umbrellas, and cozy fleece blankets for chilly evenings.

Ben Welland — Byfield-Pitman Photography
Ben Welland — Byfield-Pitman Photography

Tavern on the Falls will open early and close late. Starting at 7 a.m., the Tavern will open for breakfast with a full Bridgehead menu — coffee, muffins, pastries, sandwich wraps — plus donuts by Maverick’s. “We’ll even be serving their vegan donut,” says Andre Schad, “it’s so good you’d never know it wasn’t a regular donut.”

At 11 a.m. lunch service begins with offerings similar to Tavern on the Hill. There will be a full slate of hot dogs with fancy toppings, such as kimchi, tomato garlic sauce, olives, parmesan, Hunnions (crispy crunchy hot and sweet pickled onions made by local chef Matt Burns) and crispy shallots, Italian meatballs in a bun, and Bridgehead salads and wraps. “All our relishes, mustards, pickles and sauces are now made in-house,” says Schad, “and we’ve chosen a really juicy chicken-beef blend hot dog from Lesters in Quebec in a blind taste test.” Schad estimates that they sold over 100,000 hot dogs at Tavern on the Hill last year.

Ben Welland — Byfield-Pitman Photography
Ben Welland — Byfield-Pitman Photography

And if the impressive waterfront views aren’t enough, there will be music too. A collaboration with Chamberfest is on the cards for July, as well as regular live music on Wednesday and Friday nights and Sunday afternoons.

If the weather is kind, Schad expects to continue serving his Kombucha cocktails, full slate of spirits, beer, bubbly and wines that range from $8 to $18 a glass, until the end of October.

“Look at that view,” he says, “pointing to the Gatineau Hills across the water. It will be stunning in the fall when the leaves change.”

Ben Welland — Byfield-Pitman Photography
Ben Welland — Byfield-Pitman Photography