Colony restaurant to close

Carla Allen callen@thevanguard.ca
Published on November 2, 2012
The Colony Restaurant and Chowder House will be closing its doors in eight weeks.  Carla Allen photo

The Colony Restaurant and Chowder House will close in eight weeks.

Seventeen-people will lose their jobs between the Rodd Grand Hotel and Colony Restaurant, which are viewed as one entity by the owners - Rodd Hotels and Resorts. Operations director Jim Gertridge says seniority will dictate the layoffs, with some kitchen and restaurant staff at the Grand Hotel losing their jobs to former Colony employees,

“The goal is hopefully that the Colony patrons will come and join the Colony staff at the Grand and as we develop menus, it will be a mixture of both places. Hopefully business will improve enough at the Grand that we can bring back all of the laid off employees,” he said.

When asked if the company was looking forward to 2014 and the potential return of ferry service, Gertridge said, “Every day. That is a goal.”

However, it’s unknown whether the Colony Harbour Inn and restaurant will reopen, even if ferry service returns.

“Once you place a building into an empty scenario it deteriorates very quickly without any heat on or anything.

“We sincerely hope it weathers the storm well. Never say never that the building won’t open again, but right now it’s not likely,” said Gertridge.

Although a decision has not yet been made to list the property for sale, he says the company would entertain “any offer at all.”

At the moment the company is concerned with closing the facility and keeping the staff well informed.

“Hopefully those who have been given offers to join us at the Grand will do so. We’ll do our darndest to get enough business to allow the laid off folks to come back,” said Gertridge.

The Colony Restaurant and Chowder House operated for four decades in Yarmouth.

Several factors contributed to the closure, say the owners, including the loss of the ferry service and a struggling economy.

The Rodd Colony Harbour Inn closed in January of 2011 but was leased last week by the local World Junior A Challenge organizing committee to house visiting teams from the Czech Republic and Switzerland.

Business owners that have blamed the end of ferry service in 2009 as one of the reasons for the closure of their business include: Chez Bruno Bistro, Captain Kelley’s Restaurant, the Manor Inn, Thibault’s Bakery and the Austrian Inn.