(This story has updated information to go along with details filed last week)
With news of the fire that destroyed the Tudor House Pub and Liquor Store finding a far-reaching audience, messages from well-wishers, friends in the business and media continue to fill Tim Dumas’ voice mail.
So far, about half of the two dozen employees left jobless by the July 16 fire have been placed elsewhere said Dumas, Tudor House general manager.
“There’s still some work to do, but there’s been some companies that have reached out and are looking for people,” he said Monday. “There’s been many dozens of leads, many of which have turned into jobs.”
The majority of job leads have come from the food and beverage industry, Dumas said.
Many staff have worked at the pub for years, Dumas said. And at least two dual-income households saw both breadwinners put out of work by the July 16 fire, he added.
Some staffers are among three generations of family members who have worked at the pub or liquor store, he said.
The pub, built in 1904, has been part of the Dumas family for 30 years. Tim Dumas’ own connection began as a kid, when he would accompany his father, Paul – a former Tudor House owner – to the pub before opening time and would bum quarters to play the Pac-Man video game.
The Esquimalt Fire Department continues to investigate the blaze for possible causes, but has ruled out the possibility the fire was intentionally set.
Dumas was somewhat guarded about the future of the operation, which began life in 1904 and is currently owned by a company called Dirty Digger Holdings.
“We have the intention of moving on and rebuilding, but it’s much too early to speculate at this time,” he said, after excavators had gathered the remaining walls and foundation into large piles.
“My main objective right now is to help my staff find meaningful employment.”
Local country band helping out
Victoria-based country music band Montgomery County, monthly performers at the Tudor House Pub over the past year and a half, are putting on a benefit concert to help out displaced employees of the pub, which burned down this week. Details are still being ironed out, but a tentative date of Sept. 7 at the Esquimalt Legion has been set for the event. Watch for more information at islandentertainers.com.