A Saucy Update

The only remaining evidence of the Saucy Noodle. Image: April 2014. The only remaining evidence of the Saucy Noodle. Image: April 2014.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the Saucy Noodle on Ottawa Start and didn’t quite know what happened in the end. A small mea culpa on my end, I always seem to forget that anyone with a computer at home and an Ottawa Public Library card can search the Ottawa Citizen going back to 1985 via ProQuest. While imperfect (no images, for example. I rather wish that the run of the Citizen and perhaps the Free Press were available on Newspapers.com), it does give me a more contemporary view as the Journal stopped publishing in 1980.

In any event, the Saucy Noodle closed down in 1987 and was replaced by the Osteria Luigi, a restaurant that took a distinctively more upscale approach and one that apparently specialized in veal dishes. The Citizen’s Elizabeth Elmsley opened her review as such:

Is it Osteria or Ostaria? The menu spells it one way, the phone book another. No matter. Whichever way you spell it, Osteria Luigi _ we’ll go with the menu spelling _ is a vast improvement on the Saucy Noodle that once occupied the premises at 409 Somerset St. W., just across from the Somerset Theatre.

Gone is the Saucy Noodle‘s rather tacky ambience; Osteria Luigi’s decor is bright, airy and elegant _ with mirrors, half pillars stained a soft green and art-deco wall sconces.

Reminiscent of the elegance of Stefano’s, this is not a red-checked tablecloth, Chianti bottle candle holder, strolling violinist type of place. This is northern Italian, urban chic.

Ottawa Citizen, May 6, 1988, Page B5.

It doesn’t appear that Osteria Luigi wouldn’t last too long, however. The last mention of the restaurant in the Citizen was in August 1991. It seems that Centretown’s appetite for veal dishes was somewhat limited. Perhaps Mama Teresa’s competition was too hot. In the Spring of 1992, it became On Tap II and when it was gutted by fire in the late fall, it was known as Joe Bloze Bar & Grill.

An early Saturday morning fire caused more than $200,000 damage to a recently opened Somerset Street bar.

“Right now I would say it’s unsalveagable,” said Darryl Brown, co-owner of Joe Bloze Bar & Grill, which opened in July.

The blaze at 409 Somerset St. near Kent Street began shortly before 5 a.m. Brown, who had left the location business around 3:30 a.m., said the fire was restricted to the second and third storeys of the 70-year-old building.

Ottawa Citizen, November 22, 1992, Page A7.

So then that was that. The hulking shell was demolished and the resulting gravel lot remains with us today. Perhaps archaeologists will some day come across a stray spoon or some other artifact of the hotspot that once stood.