Built in 1893, the Walper Terrace Hotel in Kitchener has been a mainstay of the downtown Kitchener landscape before it was even known as Kitchener.
Back then, it was know as the Town of Berlin, and the hotel commonly abbreviated to just “The Walper,” was a shining architectural example of what locals were capable of. However, date that building 121 years and one will find that it could use a bit of a facelift.
Having closed a major source of income in the hotel in June, the popular Rum Runner Pub and YukYuk’s comedy club are expected to stay closed until at least October.
“It’s not so bad, because the summer is pretty slow for us,” said YukYuk’s manager Jack Kasper, “business really starts to ramp up in October and seems to increase steadily until the Christmas season.”
The property, which is co-owned by Perimeter Group and CK Atlantis took over the Rum Runner portion of the Walper back in March with a full knowledge that they would renovate the bar to revitalize the stale, local watering hole.
“There isn’t much that can be done in the realm of structural renovations,” Kasper said, explaining that renovations will be primarily a facelift for the bar. “It’s mostly a coat of paint and carpeting,” he echoed in the now husk of a bar that was normally bustling with downtown Kitchener locals.
“They are doing a full renovation of the bar, including the kitchen and then once that’s done they’re moving up one floor at a time,” Jack boasts, “I think it’s going to look really good once it’s all done.”
He mentioned that the new kitchen is home to chef Terry Salmond, who, in what has been said to be the closest finale finish in history, had placed second in season four of Top Chef Canada.
“Terry is a wicked chef, the food here is awesome.”
Kasper goes on to claim that there are plans in the works for a grand re-opening of both the bar as well as YukYuk’s, among other special events that will be happening once everything is back up and running.
“Aaron Berg is planning on filming a special with Sirius XM here once the club reopens.” Grinning, Kasper goes on to say, “he specifically requested this club, and he’s one of the top guys from around here, so that’s a huge deal!”
For those worried about the hotel losing its historical charm, Kasper declared during a rocky ride up to the fifth floor “they’re keeping this old school elevator. I’m pretty sure it’s one of, like, two or three left in the country.”
Kasper explained that renovations will be happening to the entire hotel over the next while.
“There was a flood on the fifth floor over a year ago and nothing was ever really fixed, so they’re going to do that up again as well which is nice. They’re also going to do the ballrooms as well, which will look awesome! The whole place is going to look amazing when it’s all done!”
Anna believes in defying expectations when it comes to being a millennial that wears Raybans. She spends a lot of time wandering around town spending money she doesn’t have on things like tacos, coffee, and Moleskine notebooks. She will also walk your dog for free.