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What’s old is new again as Argyle Arms makes comeback in Preston

Under new ownership, The Argyle Arms pub on King Street could reopen within the next month
Chef Denis Hernandez (left) and Kypp Saunders are getting the Argyle Arms ready for a reopening in the coming weeks.

When Kypp Saunders decided he wanted to expand his culinary and entertainment footprint into Cambridge, he chose an old favourite in the community to help make it a reality.

Saunders, owner of Sugar Run in Kitchener and Babylon Sisters in Waterloo, is breathing new life into the Argyle Arms on King Street just months after it appeared to be shuttered for good.

Even the name will be remaining the same, something he thought was important given the previous restaurant’s stronghold in the city.

“The Argyle Arms was an iconic pub when it was open,” Saunders said.

“I want people to know we’re reopening it and that we’re not reinventing the wheel. I don’t want to offend anyone who used to like coming here. Some people have a connection to the name. We also want to bring in the younger crowd.”

To appeal to a wide customer base, Saunders says the menu will be an “elevated pub style.” He’ll be outsourcing the kitchen to well known local chef Denis Hernandez who’s currently working on refining the menu.

Aside from the food, Saunders is excited about the entertainment aspect of his new establishment.

Live music will be a regular occurrence, with a focus on giving local musicians a platform to share their work and gain exposure.

 It’s all part of bringing an environment to Preston Saunders feels is missing.

“I just think the area is ready for a little bit of an upgrade,” he said.

“Everything seems to be happening in the Galt area of Cambridge. There’s not a lot in Preston and it needs more places to eat, drink and listen to live music. People want more live music.”

The hospitality sector is in Saunders blood. 

His passion for cuisine, mixing drinks and entertaining began at the University of Waterloo where he worked at the campus pub while completing his degree in political science. 

Stops at Rich Uncle, Pin Up Arcade Bar, White Rabbit, Starlight, Jane Bond, Ethel’s Lounge, Bombshelter all followed.

After thirty years in the business he’s excited for the challenge of expanding to a new market and serving the community in a place that was once a staple.

Saunders admits that it’s been a difficult few years for the restaurant and bar industry but his passion for the business has been what’s kept him going. 

“Deep down I love it,” he said.

“I’m excited for the whole pub concept, my other bars are more lounges. It’s been amazing to meet the people in the community.”

While there’s no grand opening scheduled yet, Saunders is hoping to be up and running by the end of the month.