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.