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  • Big Stories from Small Business Winner


    Congratulations Fort Amherst Pub

    I always knew I would end up in the family business. The first Burseys to arrive in Old Perlican in 1748 were merchants. Over the past 270 years, the Burseys have operated fish plants, seafood retail outlets, and more recently, restaurants.

    My restaurant experience started at the Flake House in Quidi Vidi when I was 12, where my brother and I worked for our Dad and Uncle; me in the back and my brother in the front of house. After high school I explored other career opportunities, but kept getting pulled back to the kitchen.

    After pursuing some other business opportunities, I decided to go out on my own and began renovations on Water Street to open Fort Amherst Pub in April 2016. On July 1st, we were about a week from opening when I arrived at the location to find water up to my ankles. Plumbing issues upstairs had flooded our location and we lost everything.

    Over the next few months, remediation and renovations worked to prepare the location for opening. We opened on a Thursday in November, and on Tuesday, the building flooded again. We lost everything. Again.

    At this point, my wife was 4 months pregnant and we didn’t know how we would pull through. The next few months were tough, emotionally and financially, but in April 2017, our beautiful daughter Alice was born and we signed a lease for an incredible location in Churchill Square.

    Over the spring of 2017 we renovated our new location and enjoyed our new baby. Finally, on July 13th, 2017, Fort Amherst Pub opened for good. My wife Kaitlin and daughter Alice welcomed our first guests at the Pub. After a year of uncertainty, it was an awesome feeling.

    We’ve now been open for 15 months and have found our stride. The Pub is a neighborhood destination and enjoyed by regulars and newcomers alike. Customers rave about our local beer selection, sharable plates, and of course, the fish and chips.

    As is the Bursey way, Fort Amherst Pub is a family affair. My brother Gabe works the bar, my wife Kaitlin handles the finances, and my father Ray and daughter Alice do the Costco runs.

    We’re constantly looking for new opportunities to expand and diversify our business in Newfoundland. I come home with new ideas so often that it drives my wife crazy. We’re really optimistic about the future of this Province and are looking forward to being part of its growth.

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