In its 60th Year, New Owners Give Thirsty Boot a Boost

By Lizette Gilday

While enjoying an autumn drive along Bolton Pass during COVID-19’s second wave, Sutton landowners Carrie Haber and Daniel Webster came upon a fork in the road. A familiar roadside landmark at the bottom of the Glen was for sale. It was familiar to Haber whose uncle, Ted Forrest, gave the Thirsty Boot its name while establishing the original apres-ski joint in the basement of the Beaver Pond Inn with his ski-pro buddy Bob Rae. But when Haber’s husband took his first glance inside the Boot last Fall, the arts event producer and promoter saw a diamond in the rough. “We saw it as a place with loads of post-pandemic potential to re-create the sense of community for which the TB is famous as a good old fashioned country bar.” 

Since acquiring The Boot the new owners have been hard at work upgrading the original one hundred and fifty year old structure. They are in the process of adding a new back terrace and have plans to improve the kitchen and offer a tasty choice of meals and snacks. In addition Webster intends to bring live music, theatre, comedy and story-telling on the refurbished stage at the Thirsty Boot. He also plans to build a grassroots creative space and production house for local and international artists looking for a place to relax and create. To this end Webster has installed state of the art sound and lighting systems as well as streaming technology. 

Webster brings a wealth of experience to this new endeavour. He is co-founder of Montreal’s Osheaga music festival, having built his successful concert production company Greenland Productions over the past 30 years. While The New York Times recognized him as Montreal’s Godfather of Alternative Music, Webster prefers a more nurturing analogy, seeing himself as a wide-ranging gardener of the arts. He has built longterm relationships with artists of all stripes, from Adele to Nirvana to Armand Vaillancourt. 

“We intend to grow organically in the coming months, taking the realities of the pandemic into account,” says Webster. As they begin with comfort food, local brews and a place to pull up and take comfort during the pandemic and beyond, Haber and Webster will be welcoming the community to events in celebration of 60 years of good times. “We want to offer young people a place for their ideas to evolve and flourish,” he says. 

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