Senate Tavern: Where Everyone’s a Local

Everyone needs a spot near their home, with friendly staff, frequented by people they know, offering a laid-back atmosphere and comfy bar seating.

My go-to place is the Senate Tavern in the heart of Old Ottawa South. There are three (awesome) locations, yet the Senate on Bank stands out as simultaneously being “nothing special” and “incredibly unique.” Let me explain.

You won’t walk into Senate and be blown away by its innovative food menu or slow-crafted cocktails; this isn’t a place to wow your first date in a cocktail dress. However, it is one of the nicest patios in the city (I’ll die on this hill). It’s loaded with fun games for you and your friends to play, like pool, darts, and my friend group’s personal favourite—shuffleboard, and it boasts a wide selection of local craft beers—specifically highlighting the awesome lineup at Evergreen—alongside a really solid bar fare menu that’s great for sharing. Most importantly, the Senate makes you feel at home.

Whether you’re in with a large group, on a date with a loved one, watching the game with your brother, or simply popping in by yourself for a pint at the bar, the atmosphere, the staff, and the sheer feeling you get when you walk through the wooden door is that of home.

I wrote this sitting on the patio at Senate, gazing at a wooden fence adorned with painted names of local Ottawa eateries, sipping a beer—an Evergreen lager—and people-watching in Old Ottawa South.

As I dipped my sweet potato fries into chipotle mayo, I was thinking about how excited I am for their modern graffiti-covered satellite bar to open and how many games of giant Connect Four I’m going to lose. I was thinking about how when a friend has a rough night and wants to grab a pint, or when we have no plans but want to make plans, the default always ends up being, “So, Senate?”

As a food and travel writer and industry professional, I pride myself on exploring everything the City of Ottawa offers, but we all need a place to fall back on that always has our back.

Whether you’re downtown on Clarence, walking the streets of Hintonburg and Wellington West, or right here in Old Ottawa South and The Glebe, there is a Senate for you.

Although the Senate is a bar for Bill’s fans—I am a die-hard born and bred Raider supporter—I hope you’ll find a home here the way I have because everybody deserves a Senate Tavern in their life.