Where everybody knows your name, Chris Rock Tavern for 61 years

Posted on April 26, 2024 | By Alexander Chafe | 0 Comments



Founders Chris Shaban and Charles Frederick “Rocky” Stone inside Chris Rock Tavern (photo credit: Chris Rock Tavern)

The oldest operating tavern in New Brunswick, Chris Rock Tavern sees generations of regulars through its doors, most of whom are greeted by name. Dating back over 60 years, not much has changed at many Monctonians’ favourite watering hole. Its commitment to tradition and people keeps its loyal followers coming back for their usual pint and good eats.

Early days

In the early 1960s, new liquor license regulations allowed the sale and consumption of alcohol in restaurants and bars. This inspired Chris Shaban and Charles Frederick “Rocky” Stone to build one at 48 Albert Street in Moncton, N.B. Chris Rock Tavern first opened its doors on February 12, 1963. It was the third beverage room in the province and is now the longest operating, says current owner and operator James Boushel. With locally brewed Moosehead beer on tap since day one, it’s rumoured that Mr. Oland himself installed the tavern’s first draft beer lines.

As was part of the times, only men were allowed inside the tavern in the early days. Hours were 11 a.m. – 6:15 p.m. and 7:30-10:45 p.m. The hour break in between allowed everyone time to go home for supper with their family.


A photo of Chris Rock Tavern being built at 48 Albert Street in 1962 (photo credit: Tom Bougeois, researched & framed by Pete Prosser)

Changing hands

Over time, women were welcomed into the establishment and the tavern added a menu of freshly made (never frozen) comfort food. In the early 1970s, Shaban and Stone sold their namesake tavern and the Wolfe family eventually took ownership for over 30 years.

James Boushel began working at Chris Rock Tavern as a university student. Although he later moved on to other things, Boushel remained close to Wayne Wolfe and continued to gain experience in the restaurant industry. In 2018, Boushel received a call asking if he wanted to take over the tavern; it was a dream come true. He says the Wolfe family wanted someone who’d maintain the integrity of the business.

After officially becoming the owner of his favourite tavern, Boushel made one major change — replacing handwritten chits with a proper computerized point-of-sale system. While there was some initial hesitancy, all employees have gratefully embraced the new ordering system.


A view inside Chris Rock Tavern in the early years (photo credit: Chris Rock Tavern)

A second home

Loyal customers and employees are what Boushel credits to the success of Chris Rock Tavern. “Our regulars and staff have kept us going, many of whom treat this place like a second home. I can’t stress enough how important both are, they’re the lifeblood of this place and we’re nothing without them.”

Boushel says he has an uncle who came to Chris Rock Tavern on opening day and still comes in regularly for a couple of beers over 60 years later.


A modern exterior shot of Chris Rock Tavern (photo credit: Chris Rock Tavern)

Keeping on

Today, operations continue as usual at Chris Rock Tavern at 48 Albert Street. The reliable, welcoming atmosphere is where generations of regulars go for a casual drink and conversation with old friends.

When asked about the future, Boushel commented: We’re not necessarily looking for the next thing. We just want to keep on keeping on.”

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