Saturday, July 3, 2010

Formally Known as the Spread Eagle....

Nova Scotia’s capital city, Halifax is home to the most drinking establishments per capita than any other city is North America, so I guess that it’s only fitting that we begin our first ever social commentary on the oldest drinking establishment in Halifax, the Split Crow. Splity’s is probably the most well known pub in the whole city. It’s a popular spot for both the young and old, and everyone in between. My own mother has been to the Split Crow. It’s a must patronize spot for everyone who lives here and anyone who passes through the city.

According to the Splity’s website ( the Split Crow opened its doors on the corner of Salter and Water St. in 1749 under the name of The Spread Eagle. The tavern took its name from the German coat of arms. Now, I have no idea why a man, whose last name is Shippey, would name the first tavern in the newly established British colony of New Scotland after the German coat of Arms, he either must have liked the Double Eagle symbol or he had a really great sense of humour. But anywho, I searched the Nova Scotia Archives for the first liquor license issued for Mr. Shippey and all I could find was a liquor license issued to John Shippey in 1755 so I’m not sure where they are finding their information but either way, it’s a really old Pub. The Sign on the door does say that it’s established in 1979 but I believe that is when the tavern was rebranded the Split Crow.

Splity’s has served Halifax through the good times and the bad, through times of tall sail ships and steam ships, explosions and World Wars. Halifax without the Split Crow just would not be the same. For many Haligonians, it’s just a vital part of the Halifax’s culture as the Citadel Fortress from which the city was founded. It features nightly live entertainment with matinees on Saturdays. The most popular days are usually Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons /early evenings. It offers an outdoor patio during the summer months but if you plan to go on a nice hot Saturday afternoon you might want to get there early since you might not find a spot on the patio and you will probably have to wait in line to get in.