PARRSBORO, N.S. – Only a few months after it burned to the ground, the Glooscap Restaurant and Lounge in Parrsboro is being rebuilt.
“Construction started at the end of March and we hope to open towards the end of the summer,” said Amber Fisher, who owns and operates the restaurant with her husband Mike.
Built in 1980 and opened in 1981, the restaurant burned to the ground on Dec. 11, 2018.
The exact cause of the fire was never pinpointed.
“They say it was electrical,” said Fisher.
She says the fire came as a big shock.
“Some days it still does.”
Insurance helped pay for the rebuild.
“I can’t imagine how we could have gone through something like this without insurance,” said Fisher.
Fisher says they missed their regular customers over the winter, and their customers say they missed the restaurant as well.
“You meet them on the street, you meet them at the Co-op, and everybody’s saying, ‘we can’t wait until you open,’” she said. “It’s nice to hear the local people are looking forward to it opening as much as we are.”
The walls are up at the new restaurant and the trusses for the roof arrived on May 13.
“They’ll put the roof on and put the windows in, and then the other sub-contractors will come in and do their work.”
The new restaurant is set back a few feet further from the road than the original restaurant.
“It looks like it’s closer to the road but it’s not,” said Fisher.
It’s about the same size as the old restaurant but the seating capacity will go up from 120 to about 150.
“We’ve also implemented a conference room so you can book banquets, birthday parties and stuff like that. We didn’t have that before.”
The restaurant has 12 dedicated employees.
“The girls, all of our staff, we get together at each other’s house every Wednesday and have coffee and snacks. They’re anxiously waiting to get back to work.”
The menu will continue to feature favourites like their traditional turkey dinner and homemade soups.
“The menu is going to be about the same but we have one addition that we haven’t disclosed yet,” said Fisher.
This summer is the 17th year Fisher has worked at the Glooscap restaurant, and her and Mike have owned the restaurant for five years.
“Mike and I are both from Parrsboro and we met at the bar about 17 years ago, so we’ve had a lot of history here.”
Their daughter Jessie-Rae, who is now four-years-old, was born not long after they bought the restaurant.
“I had her on a Wednesday and came back to work on Sunday.”
They also have a 10-year-old son, Dawson, and a 19-year-old son, Dillon, who is an excavator operator in downtown Toronto.
She said the fire did have a silver lining, allowing her to spend more time with her kids.
“I’m a busy-bee, I like to stay busy,” she said. “But even though I’m not used to being a stay-at-home mom I’m cherishing my time with my children.”
Their daughter starts school in September.
“It’s icing on the cake to spend some time with her before she goes off to school,” said Fisher.