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Last day at Brûlerie Old Rock Roastery café

The Brûlerie Old Rock Roastery building at 212 Minto St. is being purchased by the city to accommodate a new downtown arena/events centre project
Brûlerie Old Rock Roastery owners Carole and Luc Roy are seen in their downtown building during its final day in operation as a café on Dec. 23.

The Brûlerie Old Rock Roastery building at 212 Minto St. was packed with coffee enthusiasts today for the building’s final day operating as a café.

The city is purchasing the building, and gave owners Carole and Luc Roy until the end of June to vacate. 

The building’s final day as a café came with its “ups and downs” emotionally, Luc told between conversations with longtime customers during the early afternoon, describing it as a “tremendous day” overall.

“The city worked with us, the city adapted to us, so they knew that we needed a transition period. They allowed us six months of a transition period, which is why today’s our last day.”

Brûlerie Old Rock Roastery is seen in downtown Sudbury during its last day in operation as a café on Dec. 23. . Tyler Clarke /

The café permanently closed to customers at approximately 3 p.m. today, but staff will continue roasting coffee beans in the building for the next several months. The roastery supplies beans to 10 licencees throughout Northern Ontario.

During this time, Luc said they will also work to shift operations to a new location in Sudbury, and he doesn’t anticipate a gap in service (aside from café operations).

“The next location’s going to be exactly what we want it to be, and I think it’s going to be wonderful,” he said, adding that their next building would be a “true destination.”

“Instead of seeing roads and cement and all that stuff, it will be a little bit nicer,” he said, shooting a glance out the Minto Street café’s front window, which overlooks Minto Street and the Sudbury Community Arena. “Maybe water around.”

They plan on announcing the new location by the end of January.

As for the existing downtown café, Luc said the building has served them well over the years.

The Roy couple started out selling coffee beans at the farmer’s market in 2004, where they found enough success that they were encouraged to open a physical store/café in January 2007 at “one of the least-expensive buildings in downtown,” which Luc said they could afford.

The business has grown ever since, Luc said, even during the peak of the pandemic.

Although vacating the space will be “bittersweet,” he described it as “more bitter than sweet” thanks to the city working with them, and the wide open possibilities which will accompany a new location.

The city is purchasing the Brûlerie Old Rock Roastery building as part of a larger project in which they purchased all of the properties on the block (minus those they already owned), plus a triangular block to the immediate south where the historic Ledo Hotel building stands.

Other properties include the Golden Grain Bakery, Alexandria’s Restaurant and Lounge, Advanced Detailers, The Dog House Sports Bar and a rooming house.

The Golden Grain Bakery marked its final day of operations earlier this month, when a long lineup of people showed up to purchase their final batch of baked goods.

The city came to agreements with all of these property owners, though two are rentals.

The only holdout was Wacky Wings, which the city announced plans earlier this month to expropriate

All of the affected buildings will be demolished to make way for the city’s downtown arena project, which could include renovating the existing Sudbury Community Arena or building a new arena/events centre. City council is expected to make a decision in March. 

The affected land would either accommodate a new arena/events centre building or ancillary services, such as a hotel, convention centre or other ventures that complement the development.

Excluding the Wacky Wings property and demolition costs, the city has spent $12.5 million on the properties thus far.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for


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Tyler Clarke

About the Author: Tyler Clarke

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for
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