After 30 years as touring musicians, Gary and Denise Julien have seen their fair share of country bars. So when the opportunity to take over Dartmouth's infamous The Rodeo Lounge (121 Ilsley Avenue), of course they jumped on it.
"We just didn't do well with retired," laughs Denise. "We needed a project and we got one." The soon to be renamed iteration of the bar will be transformed into a saloon-inspired space, with a brand new bar, new floors, fresh paint and some vintage accents. Julien says the transformation will take place over the next few weeks, but the bar as you know it will remain open during those renos.
Of course, with the new owners' background, the new version of The Rodeo will stick to its (and their) country roots, bringing in local country rock, classic rock and southern rock bands weekly. The menu will also see some re-building, sticking to classic pub far but eventually bringing some southern-style barbecue options into the mix.
“This bar has been on the down slide for a while. We hope when we get the renos done, Dartmouth won't have to go across the water on the weekends,” says Julien. “There are good bones to work from, but we're going to take it to the limit.”