TIGNISH - It’s been a busy two weeks for Bonnie Gaudet at Tignish’s new restaurant.
Gaudet opened Our Family Traditions on Nov. 8 and has been thrilled, and even overwhelmed at times, by the community’s response.
“They’re amazed with the restaurant,” Gaudet said of diners’ comments she’s hearing. “They’re really impressed with the layout.”
The restaurant has seating for 96 and the space can be divided off to provide banquet space.
“It just came to me one day,” Gaudet said of the name she chose for her first venture into the restaurant business. “It’s very traditional; it’s a family restaurant,” she points out.
Fish, with her home-style batter and the homemade desserts are among the most popular items starting out.
Our Family Traditions fills a void that had persisted in Tignish since an August, 2015 fire leveled the previous restaurant on the same Phillip Street lot.
It quickly became obvious customers had a craving for had been missing since the fire. They even had to close down the takeout portion of the restaurant the first day it opened because there was such a crush of customers, and the take-out is only now getting back into service.
“I knew we were going to be busy, but I didn’t know we were going to be that busy,” said Gaudet who currently has a staff of 40 full- and part-time workers.
The restaurant combines features Gaudet has appreciated over the years. As a hockey mom of sons who played at a competitive level, she said she’s visited many restaurants.
“I know what I liked and what I didn’t like.”
Starting on Nov. 29, Our Family Traditions will feature Eat, Drink and Be Merry, every Wednesday night until Christmas. It’s an evening of Christmas music with Abby Peters and Rodney Arsenault and a meal consisting of chowder, turkey dinner and dessert.
The restaurant’s operating hours are 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. Those hours are expected to stay like that throughout the winter. Gaudet anticipates an earlier opening time, especially for the drive-thru, during fishing season.