Monday, January 9, 2012

A Sad Loss for Wheaton's Dining Scene

For all of the love I give to the wide variety of restaurants here in Wheaton, the Royal Mile Pub has been the one I go to the most often.  Almost every weekend, Mr. WC and I have gone there to enjoy the food, the beer, and most importantly, the people and the atmosphere.  While it was never a good place to eat if you were in a hurry, the relaxed vibe and slower pace of the Royal Mile was often exactly what I needed on a Friday night after a hectic work week.  There was always a wide variety of people dining there - older couples who had been going there since it opened, families with kids, and friends out for beers.  I always felt like part of a community when I was there.  While I didn't go there quite often enough to be a "regular", the service was always friendly, with the waiters all becoming familiar faces to me after several years of heading there every weekend.

As I posted last night, it all appears to be coming to an end.  From what I was told by the waiters, either last night or some day early this week will most likely be the Royal Mile's last day in business.  While one waiter expressed hope that some other arrangement would come through to keep them open, it didn't sound good.  No one I spoke with had a great explanation behind the closing, but financial issues seem a likely cause.  Last night, the atmosphere was a mixture of celebration and sadness.  I saw one waitress shedding a few tears after getting hugged by a regular.  All the employees seemed to be in a state of shock that the Royal Mile was actually closing after all these years.  The gentleman who occassionally shows up there with bagpipes was outside playing for most of the evening, giving the pub a fitting Scottish farewell.

After 30 years of business in Wheaton, it's hard to believe the Royal Mile will be closing. 


  1. Well, I would say, I am most happy with the Limerick Pub, 100 yards away on the corner. So, one door closes, another opens.

  2. Limerick is fine. Great mixed drinks. However, my dad took me to the Royal Mile when I was very young and I have been in love with it since.

    My wife and I had our first date at the Royal Mile. We went to the Royal Mile after we got engaged. My family went there when I graduated High School. A dozen of my friends celebrated my 21st birthday at the Royal mile. I went there for my bachelor party.

    I don't need a menu, I wear my kilt whenever possible, I love the servers and the atmosphere. I'm not terribly old, but that place has more history with me than anywhere else.

  3. The Mile has a long history with my friends and family. We celebrate there, gather with friends there, I even had Mother's Day brunch there. The loss will be like losing a dear friend.

    I personally feel that the "revitalization" of Wheaton has been the opposite and without the Royal Mile, there will be very little to draw me to the area. I have no interest in the Limerick Pub.

  4. I've got no interest in either (other than being a weekly customer at Limerick and an occasional customer at Royal Mile), but I think it's kind of short-sighted to hoist blame on Limerick for this, particularly if the allegations of payroll issues with the manager are true. From everything I've seen the two bars were trying to work together. In fact, I think that back area could be revitalized with a couple more bars and a small music venue of some sort.

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