Cheer's Village Pub, A Friendly Place for Food & Drink

A neighbourhood sports bar where if you’re a regular, the bartenders will know your name.

On your way toward Mount McKay along James Street on the south side of Thunder Bay, there’s a little strip mall, Mount McKay Place, where tucked into its corner is one of the friendliest village pubs in town.

Like on the TV show of the same name, if you’re a regular the bartenders at Cheer's Village Pub will know your name. The 100-year-old bar stools, which I am told come from a hotel in Gananoque in the 1,000 Islands, showcase the character of this neighbourhood bar and restaurant.

Its comfortable atmosphere brings in a solid fan base looking to watch their favourite game on the big screens. The place is alive and full of conversation and laughter on any given day, but especially when there is a big sports event on TV. And from time to time, the pub hosts live entertainment, making for a fun night out for Cheer's patrons.

Cheer's, The Village Pub, with its comfortable chairs and big tables is a local favourite that can serve you not only your favourite beverage, but wonderful comfort pub food like poutine, burgers, chicken pot pie, club sandwiches and a steak, but more adventurous options as well.

Cheer’s has taken up the Millennial gastro challenge and has enhanced their menu offering. The neighbourhood sports bar serves up some fantastic and original choices. 

Try their Panko Breaded Pickerel Fingers (“panko breaded pickerel fried and seasoned in Cajun spice”), the Ultimate Stuffed Mushrooms, Garlic Roasted Red Pepper Chevre Burger (“topped with a slice of prosciutto, garlic sautéed roasted red peppers and chevre goat cheese”), or the Farmer’s Choice Steak Sandwich, the Cheer’s Toasted Almond Steak Salad, and many more.

The menu changes every so often, so these are just examples, but you can expect something mouthwatering to always be on the menu. Cheer's serves lunch and dinner with food and drink specials posted on a daily basis, so check the signboards or ask your waiter/waitress. There are plans to add a breakfast menu with expansion of the current restaurant layout.

Although they don’t have a printed drink menu, Cheer’s offers a wide of the choice of beers from local craft brews to domestic bottles or tall boys, plus basic cocktails and some wine. If you’re the adventurous type, the bartenders will figure out how to make whatever you like.

Cheer’s supports local suppliers, procuring locally grown food such as meats and fish from Maltese Grocery and fresh vegetables from Debruins Greenhouses. “We have a small kitchen but we support local as much as possible,” says owner Ron Anderson. 

Ron excitedly describes the surprising island-like opportunity that came his way with Cheer’s being in an area where no other pub exists. With the closure of the James St. Bridge, he’s expanding Cheer’s into the neighbouring former businesses’ spaces to expand the seating dramatically. With four times the seating capacity, this allows for a quiet area for those who wish to talk while the band plays.

On a visit to Thunder Bay come hang out with some local folk at Cheer’s, watch your favourite game, and have a good time at this restaurant and bar in the Westfort Village.

About Duncan Weller

A writer and visual artist, Duncan Weller is a Governor General's Award winner who lives in Thunder Bay. You can visit his website at His latest two books are a novel, Flight of the Silk, and an expanded edition of the award-winning children's picture book, The Boy from the Sun.

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