The reprieve provided by the pandemic crystallized Jule’s Kitchen owner/operator Julie’s desire to move on from the restaurant she operated for – years in the family-owned building that houses Clarke’s Service Centre, the gas station, the car wash and laundromat. After mulling it over, Mike and Heather Clarke decided to step in and take over this part of the family business. At the end of October, Mike and Heather reopened the restaurant with a new name, a new menu and a fresh look. Clarke’s Cafe is now serving breakfast and lunch from 6am to 3pm daily through take-out or dining in.
The menu offers a variety of family-style fare, featuring sandwiches, fish and chips and lots of egg dishes. Taylor Post manages the day to day operations, bringing business training and restaurant experience to the task and providing some industry experience to the operation.
The restaurant’s early hours cater to the trades and other early risers looking for a quick and satisfying start to their day, while customers with a more leisurely pace in mind fill the tables – both inside and out- after the early-morning rush. Plexiglass dividers installed around the indoor tables for COVID protection also increase the privacy of customer conversations and will likely remain in place after restrictions lift.
Mike grew up working in the shop and learning alongside his parents and became a licensed mechanic and Heather has a legal diploma and more than 20 years of experience working in a law practice. Mike and Heather saw the potential in the restaurant’s loyal customer base and recognized the local demand for breakfast and lunch. The pair took over the Mechanic Shop in January 2016, and while they had no restaurant aspirations, they decided the time was right to take on the restaurant operations on his sister Julie’s departure. Now that they’ve taken control they are passionate about building it up for the next generation. Their daughter, Sarah, is joining in the team and you will see her learning about the business from the ground up serving tables when she is not studying at college.
Congratulations on a successful transition! KG