By Andre Gagne, Christina Leadlay, Randy Mar and Tamara Miller (this article appeared in the October 2021 edition of the New Edinburgh News)
Jasper restaurant has been sold
The New Edinburgh News has learned that Jasper Sports Pub at 18 Beechwood Ave. has been sold and that a new restaurant will take its place in November.
The new owner, Donald Wingell, tells NEN that his plan for the bistro will bring a new form of dining to the neighbourhood under the brand “Dhruvees.”
Donald Wingell is also the founder and CEO of Wingell Hospitality Group, an Ottawa-based Hospitality Consulting and Management Company. They represent global food service brands for Canada such as Dilmah Tea, Arun Spices and Golden Roots products.
Jasper opened in spring of 2019 as a fine dining establishment. Following the first government-mandated pandemic shut-down, it re-opened in August 2020, which saw them shift to pub fare. Jasper’s owner, Andre Schad sold the restaurant to Donald in September 2021 in order to focus on his patio businesses Tavern on the Falls and Tavern on the Hill.
According to a Sept. 24 Facebook post, Andre will be launching a third location, Tavern at the Gallery, located in the hidden courtyard garden (formerly known as the Sunken Garden) at the National Gallery of Canada on Sussex Drive. Open from 11 a.m. until late, the Tavern at the Gallery’s menu will include handmade pizza, poke bowls, oysters and charcuterie.
We look forward to learning more about this new neighbourhood dining experience. Best of luck to Andre and his team, and welcome to Donald! –TM
Fresh-baked donuts on Springfield
What are lukomades? Without Googling, your first thought might be a bird found only in the Galapagos, a small village in the Mediterranean, or the full name of that uncle everyone just calls “Lou.” Not even close, but you can ensure your taste buds get the delicious answer. Just walk down to the corner of Springfield Road and Beechwood Avenue and into Mr. Luko, New Edinburgh’s newest gourmandise and coffee place.
Need more urging? “Lukomades are little, round Greek doughnuts that are fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside,” explains Nabil Mittry, co-owner of Mr. Luko, adding that the scrumptious little morsels are “served hot and topped with a flavour [of the] customer’s choice.”
Some of those choices include Nutella, pistachio cream, white chocolate, and cinnamon sugar. And on top of this (literally) you can add some Oreo crumble, shredded coconut, salted peanuts, and more! If that isn’t enticing enough, there are specialty versions of the treat, such as tiramisu cream, mixed berry cheesecake, and triple chocolate. Did we mention the fresh fruit medley?
Nabil explains that everything is prepared fresh daily, right in the shop, with premium ingredients.
Mr. Luko opened in April on Bank Street before bringing a second location to 1 Springfield Road (in the former Second Cup location). The team hasn’t let the pandemic limit their drive for deliciousness. Having to limit the number of people inside for pick-up orders only shortly after they opened was tough, but they rode out the public health restrictions and were finally able to open their doors this past summer.
“All the community is really happy to support us as a local business that’s growing up fast and are satisfied with the service we’re offering,” says Nabil. “You can clearly notice that from each honest review added from their side.”
With so many types of lukomades to try, you might not notice the other baked goods in the store. This writer sampled an apple fritter that will make you forget all other apple fritters. Yes, it’s that good, perfectly paired with some organic coffee.
“Our apple fritter is a hit for sure because of its huge size, affordability, and unique taste,” explains Nabil. “We also have the pistachio-filled donut, which is also an item to try, for sure.”
If you want something a little more adventurous, Mr. Luko also serves up Lebanese cocktails in both strawberry and avocado flavours, topped with fresh ashta: a Lebanese cream. The kids will probably be more interested in the cotton-candy or cookies-and-cream milkshakes, though. All of this before we mention: they serve breakfast!
Beyond the two shops in Ottawa, Nabil says the goal is to expand the Montreal-based Mr. Luko brand even further: “We surely are ambitious to grow faster and open a chain of Mr. Luko all over Canada and working hard to achieve that goal.” –ARG
Mr. Luko is located at 1 Springfield Road. Learn more at mrluko.ca
Spanish-Latino cuisine coming soon
Curious pedestrians peering in the window of 224 Beechwood Ave., intrigued at the signage already in place, will be rewarded very soon.
Renowned chef Daniela Manrique Lucca and her partner and front-of-house manager, Gustavo Belisario, are bringing an exciting culinary experience to the former Sutherland restaurant space.
In the next few weeks, the doors will open upon an exciting blend of the esteemed Soca Kitchen restaurant and the upstart Plantain Cartel, along with a well-stocked mercado (market).
“Everyone has been so welcoming since we took over this space and we have fallen in love with the neighbourhood!” said Chef Daniela in an interview with NEN. The Soca Kitchen is her creation: her vision for Spanish-Latino fusion, connected to roots in her native Venezuela. Diners will see many favourites on the menu, including an oyster bar, seafood tower, selected jamons (dry-cured hams), patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), cod ceviche, and empanadas and taco platters, among others.
Just like the original Soca location on Holland Avenue which opened in 2014, the Beechwood Soca will initially be open for dinner only but will eventually open for brunch once things settle down.
First developed as a “ghost kitchen,” Plantain Cartel specializes in patacones: artisanal plantain sandwiches which will be available all day. They make a great gluten-free meal option! The Cartel team make the patacones in-house from scratch, meaning no two are alike. Plantain Cartel will be a casual, express-dining option, offering delicious foods eat-in or to-go as well as signature frozen cocktails, wine, and beer.
Soca’s loyal and experienced staff will help to ease the transition to two locations, complemented by new staff. They will have opportunities to take on new roles and many will be able to work closer to home.
Plantain Cartel’s mercado will offer a wide variety of Spanish specialty products: olive oils, concervas(preserves), marinated olives, sauces and aiolis, potato crisps, and much more. Adding to the take-away options will be a variety of Soca’s frozen foods and a selection of refrigerated cheeses and charcuterie items.
And if opening a second restaurant isn’t excitement enough for Daniela and Gustavo, the couple are expecting a baby daughter in November!
Congratulations times two to Daniela, Gustavo, and the whole Soca team – welcome to New Edinburgh! –RM
The Soca Kitchen will open this fall at 224 Beechwood Ave. Contact 613-695-9190 or thesocakitchen.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dentist takes over former fitness studio
Soca Kitchen isn’t the only new business opening soon at 224 Beechwood Ave. Taking over the former EPIC fitness space (sadly, a victim of multiple pandemic shutdowns) is the dental practice of Dr. Luc Ducharme. In an email interview with NEN, Dr. Ducharme says that for the past four or five years he has been looking to expand the practice at 156 Beechwood Ave., where he and associate dentist Dr. Olivier Julien have been since 2004. But finding a 4,500–5,000 sq. ft. space on the main street had been a challenge. Until recently.
“The most important factor was remaining on Beechwood,” explains Dr. Ducharme. “This space [at 224 Beechwood Ave.] was ideal for a dental clinic: ground-level, lots of windows, on a corner, directly on Beechwood and next to a pharmacy,” and with convenient parking, too, he says.
Construction began in March 2021, transforming the former fitness studio into a dental clinic, which Dr. Ducharme says “is a complex project due to not only for leasehold improvement, but mostly due to all the special dental equipment.” He anticipates opening the new clinic in November 2021.
Born in Ottawa, Dr. Ducharme obtained his dental diploma from the University of Montreal in 1995. He practiced for eight years on Montreal Road before moving to Beechwood Avenue in March 2004. Along with Dr. Julien, who has worked with Dr. Ducharme for 15 years, the practice includes six hygienists, four assistants and four receptionists. “I intend in the near future to hire another associate dentist to better respond to the demands of the community,” says Dr. Ducharme. His clinic offers a wide variety of services including orthodontics, Invisalign, implants, sedation for patients who suffer from dental anxiety, and endodontic treatment (like root canals). They also deal with dental emergencies, and new patients are always welcome.
As for his old clinic space, Dr. Ducharme tells NEN he is “presently working with an agent as to subleasing my present location.”
We wish Dr. Ducharme and his team all the best in their new space at 224 Beechwood Ave. Learn more by calling 613-749-1785 or at drlucducharme.com. –CL
Local barbering returns to Beechwood
For those who’ve been missing a stroll along Beechwood Avenue for their regular haircuts, two brothers – Louis and Yasser Fahs – have come to the rescue.
The enterprising brothers opened Beechwood Barbershop in late September in the former Imperial Barbershop location at 10 Beechwood Ave. (next door to SushiMe). Louis brings the barbering expertise, and Yasser the business acumen to their latest venture.
They plan to keep much of the familiar furnishings and décor and maintain the six existing chairs, which allow for proper physical distancing in keeping with current public-health protocols. Initial service at launch will focus on barber cuts; other services such as beard and facial treatments will be introduced as restrictions on personal care services are lifted in the future.
In launching this endeavour, the brothers have dropped in at several local coffee shops and pubs to get their ear to the ground regarding clients’ needs. “We know this a great family area and want to bring a much-needed service to the community,” said Yasser. To further the neighbourhood connection, they’ve sought out skilled local barbers and are confident there will be familiar faces tending to customers’ needs.
To introduce themselves to the neighbourhood, Beechwood Barbershop will offer half price barber cuts in the two weeks following their opening, so keep an eye out for the open sign in the window.
A warm welcome to Beechwood Village, Louis and Yasser!
The Beechwood Barbershop is located at 10 Beechwood Ave. For details or walk-in/call-in appointments, call 613-842-8383 or visit bestprosintown.com/on/vanier/beechwood-barbershop. –RM
Cannabis shop applies for permit
There’s a potential new occupant for the space left vacant by Sundae School at 131B Beechwood Ave, next to Bridgehead. NEN has learned that Munchies Cannabis has submitted an application to open a retail store at this location.
All cannabis stores in Ontario are regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). The AGCO ensures that retailers are selling cannabis in a safe, responsible and lawful manner. Regulations include:
- not selling cannabis to anyone under the age of 19;
- not operating a retail store within 150 meters of a school; and
- acquiring the required Retail Store Authorization, Retail Operator License and Cannabis Retail Manager License.
All active applications for cannabis Retail Store Authorizations are available to view on the AGCO online portal (agco.ca) and stores are required to have a 15-day public notice period. The public notice period for Munchies Cannabis’ application closed on Sept 16, 2021, with no new details listed on the website as of publishing time. –TM
Dental team retires after 33 years
In September, Dr. John Martins and Dr. Patricia Prud’homme of Martins + Prud’homme Dentistry at 200 Beechwood Ave. announced their retirement from dentistry after 33 years – 27 of which were spent on Beechwood Avenue.
In a message to their clients and the community, they said “it is with mixed emotions that we announce our retirement in September and pass along our beloved practice.
“We wish to convey our sincerest appreciation for the tremendous support that we have received over the years from this wonderful community. Thank you for your kindness, your warm friendship and for entrusting us with your care. It has truly been an honour and a privilege.
“As we bid a fond farewell to our cherished patients, we look forward to happy endings and new beginnings.”
Drs. Martins and Prud’homme are partners both in the clinic and in life. John tells NEN that he and Patricia met in dental school and were married in 1989, a year after graduation. They have practiced dentistry together since 1994.
NEN has learned that the dental practice has been acquired by Dr. Lokesh Malik, who has begun contacting clients.
NEN extends a big thank-you to Drs. Martins and Prud’homme for their many years of support as regular advertisers in this newspaper. We wish them all the best in their retirement. –CL
Outdoor market wraps up Oct. 9
The Beechwood Market has just a few more weeks of open-air activity before reverting to an online venue for the winter season.
A community presence since 2014, the Beechwood Market has become many things to its visitors and vendors. In describing the market, President Chris Penton suggests that it “has become a comfort, an expectation, and an integral part of our community; a chance for residents to listen to live music and truly support local businesses, whether it be online, onsite, or on their front porch!”
With the steadfast support of many of its sponsors, vendors, and visitors, the market has thrived through three moves to its present location at Optimiste Park and online at beechwoodmarket.ca. On Saturdays from early June to Thanksgiving (Oct. 9), Beechwood Market offers an outdoor market experience at Optimiste Park (43 Ste. Cecile St.) featuring a wide variety of artisanal baked goods and prepared foods, eggs and poultry, local craft beer, and fresh – often organic – produce and fruit. The friendly community vibe attracts families, seniors, and young singles.
At the online Market, shoppers will find more than 30 local vendors, and hundreds of kitchen staples. Weekly pickup, arranged at the time of order, will move to the New Edinburgh Park Fieldhouse (203 Stanley Ave.) beginning Oct. 16.
Fans of community markets will note their expanding presence across the city. Beechwood Market’s offshoot, the Elgin Market, opened this past summer in Boushey Square on Waverley at Elgin Streets. Chris Penton is working not only towards a community market framework to guide market deployment city-wide, but also collaborating with other community associations to host markets on Preston Street in Little Italy, in Alta Vista, and in Hintonburg next summer.
There are also tentative plans for a Christmas Market in December at the Chartwell New Edinburgh Square, 420 MacKay St. Check the market’s website for the latest.
The Beechwood Farmers’ Market runs Saturdays in Optimiste Park, 43 Ste. Cecile St., until Oct. 9 before moving exclusively online for the winter. Contact 613-883-1012; email@example.com or visit beechwoodmarket.ca or localline.ca.
Your Pet Palace moves to Vanier
A long-time resident of 78 Beechwood Ave., local pet groomer Your Pet Palace has relocated nearby at 264 Olmstead St. in Vanier. The move was necessary to make way for the forthcoming Minto Beechwood II development on that block (see details, page 1).
Clients can expect the same services from owner Diane Campbell and her team: full pet grooming, medicated shampoos, flea treatments, and nail-trims while you wait. Contact Your Pet Palace at 613-747-6568 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note: appointments are available by phone only. –TM
The community hub along the river
After weathering a number of pandemic-related closures since March 2020, the Rideau Sports Centre (at 1 Donald St.) has had a “magical” summer – success which the team plans to carry into the autumn.
“We have approached each lockdown with a ‘dare-to-dream’ challenge,” Carrie Cuhaci, the RSC’s director of sales and marketing, tells the New Edinburgh News. “We viewed the closures as an opportunity to make further investments in the property and take great leaps in our offerings. It also enabled us to keep as many staff employed as possible and expanded their skills. Each time we re-open, our clients would return excited to see what we improved,” she said.
During their second COVID summer, RSC was able to safely host dozens of weddings, round-robin tennis drop-ins, and a 28-team ball-hockey league, run full-day children’s camps, and open The Bridge (its second-floor restaurant) seven days a week.
“We invested and opened the largest outdoor fitness centre in Ottawa,” said Carrie, describing an outdoor area on RSC’s four-acre property along the Rideau River dedicated to yoga and fitness classes and an outdoor gym.
Carrie credits the RSC team with being very nimble in adapting to ever-changing public health guidelines with very little guidance or advance notice from the provincial government. As of Sep. 22, sports centres like RSC are among the places requiring proof of vaccination or exemption with government-issued identification.
“Anyone can play any sport anytime at RSC – there is no membership required,” said Carrie, noting that all RSC sports, services, restaurant, and bar are available to everyone. In a beautiful location on the Rideau River between Vanier, Overbrook and Sandy Hill, RSC is a convenient community hub: a place to meet friends for a game, a meal, or a drink by the firepit.
This fall, RSC is offering a full slate of activities for all ages. There is a new “Tennis Pathway” for adults and juniors, as well as coach-run, level-based play programs. Yoga classes are available daily in the outdoor Zen tent, with offerings for all levels. Fitness classes are running both indoors and out, morning and evening. Plus: the beach volleyball court and outdoor ball hockey rink are available to rent (call 613-749-6126 to check availability).
There are non-sports activities, too! The RSC Book Club takes place the first Tuesday of each month. Drop in to discuss fiction and non-fiction in a friendly, COVID-safe environment (registration required). Also, the RSC Outdoor Market is a monthly event featuring an eclectic selection of products – from flowers to candles, food and clothing – for sale from local vendors.
NEN thanks the Rideau Sports Centre for their continued support and wishes the team a busy and active fall season.
The Rideau Sports Centre is located at 1 Donald St. Learn more about RSC’s activities at rideausportscentre.com. Contact the restaurant at thebridgepublichouse.com. –CL