High hopes for new and improved Fox and Fiddle

Grand re-opening of 10-year-old Langley establishment happens March 21-23

Jessica Shields, from head office in Toronto, pours a perfect pint of Guinness at Fox and Fiddle on the Langley Bypass as the business prepares to reopen after extensive renovations.

When Fox and Fiddle opens its doors after five full weeks of renovations, even the regulars won’t recognize the place, predicts the Langley establishment’s owner.

The only thing that remains of the original Fox and Fiddle, which first opened on the Langley Bypass just over a decade ago, is a brick wall, says Leanne, who purchased the franchise with her husband in December, 2002.

“The whole thing has been renovated, the bar was torn down and rebuilt, there are new tables and chairs, new blinds, new glassware,” she said.

Ensuring that the business remains on a level playing field with the best that Langley has to offer was crucial.

“All of Langley is about new and fresh,” she said. “It’s a big place, with lots to offer in terms of pubs and bars.”

And because of that, Langley is drawing patrons from surrounding communities as well, she added.

Other Fox and Fiddles in Canada have been undergoing renovations, as well, Leanne explained, but even if that wasn’t the case, the Langley pub was due for an upgrade.

“After 10 years, it needed it. It was getting dated.”

Improvements include not only new furnishings, but 10 brand new televisions and a digital sound system that will offer clearer, crisper audio for fans of UFC who come out on Saturday nights and, of course, those who prefer to cheer for the Canucks or Lions over a pint.

“We tried (the sound system) out last night — it was fantastic,” said Leanne.

With its grand re-opening set for later this month, Fox and Fiddle quietly re-opened for business on Tuesday, under the watchful eye of a new general manager and with a brand new menu.

But fans of pub-style “comfort food” can relax, said Leanne, because they will continue to serve a number of old favourites including Beef and Guinness stew, fish and chips and shepherd’s pie.

The re-opening puts Fox and Fiddle’s  32 employees back on the floor and in the kitchen, but many have been busy during the renovations as well.

“Servers have been working around the clock to get the place open,” said Leanne.

“It really is like a family. The staff have done an amazing job.”

They’re looking forward to reconnecting with their customers after a five-week break, she added. And, it would appear, a few of their patrons are getting a bit impatient, too.

Some of the regulars have already snuck inside for a peek, she laughed.

“You don’t realize how many people you connect with until you take it away.”

And when they bring it back, they’ll do it in style, with three full nights of grand re-opening celebrations, March 21-23, with live music, a bit of magic and a some product sampling from their suppliers.

The party begins with folk-rock band Factories and Alleyways on Thursday, March 21, followed by a performance from Not Sold Separately on Friday, March 22.

On Saturday, patrons can expect something a bit more out of the ordinary with the introduction of dueling pianos, featuring a pair of local musicians.

“We have high hopes for that; it’s something very different,” said Leanne.

Fox and Fiddle, located next to the Hampton Inn and Suites, at 19530 Langley Bypass, is open Sunday, Monday and Tuesday until midnight, until 2 a.m. on weekends and until 1 a.m. the rest of the week.

Something else you might like to know about Fox and Fiddle?

“We pour a perfect Guinness,” said Leanne.

Every bartender working there is trained in the two-step pour which, when done correctly, takes exactly 119 seconds.

For a true Guinness drinker, that matters.

It’s done perfectly every time, she said, “and our customers appreciate that.”

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