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New owners of Tyne Valley pub to offer live music again

by Michael Nesbitt

James Cecil, new owner of The Landing Oyster House and Pub in Tyne ValleyThe Landing Oyster House and Pub is once again open for music, dining and the pleasures of an intimate venue.

James Cecil and his partner, Julie Coffey, gave up the Pacific-edge paradise of Victoria, BC., to invest in the pastoral pleasures of PEI. “I was working in a group home, a community support worker with disabled adults, and Julie was a surgical tech at a hospital,” he notes of their backgrounds. “We thought we would do something less stressful, like open up a pub-restaurant,” he laughs.

The economic reality of PEI versus other, more populous, locales is what weighted their decision. Cecil figures such an opportunity would have cost three or four times as much in Alberta or Toronto, for example, putting it out of their economic reach. Their decision was tipped by the hope that The Landing would be a semi-retirement plan: they had lived in a lot of different places and are hoping that the move to PEI will be their last one.

They recognize the challenge of running their facility in this village, but have decided to keep it open through the winter. They maintain the name because of its familiarity with the locals, an effort to build on the level of success it was able to achieve for former owner Matt McGuire.

As for why they would choose such a radical shift of careers, it turns out to be much less surprising. “I was, actually, an entertainer. I played music for a long time, most of my adult years,” Cecil revealed. He played keyboard and harmonica with bands in locales as far-flung as Hawaii and Wisconsin. He came to the Island last May and happened to participate in jams at Baba’s Lounge in Charlottetown, experiences that heightened his interest in the opportunity The Landing presented.

“I met The Blueprints, and jammed with them, and really got a good feel for the place. There are a lot of great musicians here,” he recognized, adding that Coffey is a singer as well.

“I fell in love with this place…130-year-old building…,” he noted of the 63-seat facility, adding that they consider themselves people-persons well suited to the demands of the enterprise. They are living in the accommodations above the restaurant as did the McGuires. “I think it’s every musician’s dream, to own his own pub and have his own space,” he laughs.

Open since October 27, The Landing operates Wednesdays 4 to 11 pm, Thursdays to Saturdays 4 pm to 1 am and Sundays from 2 to 9 pm. The menu features full dining until 8 pm, changing to a pub menu until closing. Cecil notes that he supports responsible socializing, offering free soda or coffee for designated drivers.

The Landing has already created a following for its live music and Thursday Trivia nights with Jeff Noye. Bookings can be arranged with The Landing at 831-2992.


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