Red Rover Comes Downtown: Q&A with Adam Clawson

FREDERICTON–Red Rover Craft Cider has opened up a new location on Queen Street where they’re sharing a space with The Abbey Café & Gallery. We had a chat with Red Rover owner Adam Clawson about the new spot.

Q: Why was this the choice for your expansion? What about this area in particular made you choose to come downtown?

A: We wanted to come to downtown Fredericton because of the limitations of being on the Hanwell. There’s a certain culture that exists in downtown Fredericton that you just can’t get anywhere else. We really wanted to bring our ciders to that mix of excitement in this area. Specifically down at this end of Queen street is really the up and coming space, with lots of new restaurants going in over the last couple years and with the new hotels and everything, it’s really pulling down to this end of Queen street.

Q: How does it work with Abbey Cafe? Do you just share the space?

A: We both work together, but we’re two separate businesses with the same mentality about quality and product. And we figured instead of one of us coming in and doing half that wasn’t really our specialty, we wanted to come in and do what we do best. So we’ve got really great food from a really great food producer, and really great drink from a great drink producer.

Q: Did you look to any similar businesses for inspiration or are you just trying to do your own thing with it?

A: We’re trying to do something pretty unique I don’t think there’s anything quite like it in the Maritimes and what we’re trying to do is create that informal experience you get in an English pub compared to a cafe environment where you’re not getting waited on. You get the informal experience of being able to sit there all day with one drink if you feel like it. You’re not going to have someone hounding you every five minutes and it makes it a lot more of a relaxed situation. We also don’t have wifi in here, we specifically unplug so you have a chilled out space.

Q: Is there any more work still to be done on the space or are you pretty much ready to go?

A: We’re still growing. Opening takes time, it’s not just a completion date. We’re growing on that. Right now we have the bar in place. We’re working on the tasting area as well, which is going to be in the front window. The idea with that is you’ll be able to go onto one side, get food and drink, which is the Abbey’s window or the Red Rover window which will be a tasting bar and merchandise space, basically showing people how great it is to have some samples and you’ll be able to see all the impressive things going on in Officer’s Square from there.