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Famous Taverns : Hotel Brulé, Penetanguishene 5 photos

The Hotel Brulé served as a popular gathering spot for North Simcoe residents

Nap and Agnes Beauchamp started the Brulé in 1937 in what was the old Shanahan Carriage company building on Penetang’s Main Street.

Travellers coming from the City would disembark by rail at the dock, or Dubeau’s Bus Line, then perhaps, stay overnight at the Brulé before travelling by boat further up the shore.

Reasonable rates and dinner or supper for 50 or 75 cents, respectively, in 1937.

Now, Bob and Rita Robitaille spent their wedding night here. They are celebrating 70 years of marriage this year, so you have to figure it had some good effect.

Was the Brulé special?

All through that hazy period of the Seventies, it soldiered on, slinging beer and having great bands at the rear of house and it rocked.

All I remember, or will admit, was that it was packed and everyone from Christian Island, Lafontaine and tous les français were there carousing on a Friday night. No one felt any guilt. That is because they all showed enormous restraint.

I suspect it may be that whether Native, Métis, French or les Anglais, they all smoked and drank. They smoked because it is sacred and will likely continue to be until the white man wakes up.

Penetang roots, and all the characters we find here, are a mirror of a passionate town that knows what joie de vivre means.

In a sense, Hotel Brulé expresses the spirit of that Immortal Scoundrel, Etienne. That is the Brulé; it was vastly different from the Commodore in those days.

René Hackstetter, March 22, 2022.