Brian and Karen Levesque have the restaurant business in their blood. Karen spent time working in a family restaurant as a kid, and Brian comes with the experience and Chef training to tie it all together. They are the owners of the new Parkside Perk located on Front Street, just across from Centennial Park.
If variety is the spice of life, you can consider their menu a spice explosion. In an effort to make sure the customer gets exactly what they want, Brian has created the menu accordingly. Take your pick from the regular sandwich favorites – Lobster Grilled Cheese is a hot seller – or build your own, it’s all about choice. When asked if the broad selection or personal sandwich creation makes more work for the duo, Brian is adamant “do people ask endless questions? Sometimes. In the end, we know they got exactly what they wanted and that is very important to us”. Patrons will also enjoy homemade soups, featuring Clam Chowder on Fridays, and baked goods, including gluten-free alternatives. Brian and Karen have also teamed up with Junior Baker to feature gluten-free bagels, offering a real sandwich alternate to those with dietary restrictions. Those who wish to have an event catered can also take advantage of their catering menu.
In addition to their wildly popular breakfast (served all day on weekends), and lunch menu, Parkside Perk has started offering their bi-weekly Prime Rib Dinner. The Levesques’ believes that the intimate setting, overlooking the bay, is the perfect place to enjoy a nice meal with friends. They will offer some alternative options for those who may not indulge in Prime Rib, but still wish to join their friends. If you plan to attend, don’t forget to take note of the many vibrant works of the 6 + 1 Artists group that adorn the walls throughout.
As an entrepreneur, it’s not always easy to find a starting point. Brian was fortunate that a friend was familiar with some of the programming offered at the Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation, and that is where he went for guidance. He was taken through the process of creating a business plan, securing financing and all the basics needed to register a business and get it off the ground. He describes the experience as wholly positive “I was able to get all my questions answered, and when I get lost, they are there to help”. Like many, he also found the online resources and free information offered on their website to be a strong positive.
The Levesque’s have learned a lot about the ins and outs of their business since their March opening. The biggest piece of advice they pass on to other entrepreneurs? “Never compromise on quality. Businesses get busy for a reason. Never sacrifice your quality in order to keep up”. The freedom to maintain quality to their own standards is one of the best parts of Brian and Karen’s day. In the end, with their small team of dedicated staff and desire to meet the specific needs of their customers, they are a welcomed addition to the Sarnia Bay shoreline. Parkside Perk use social media to regularly maintain contact with their customers and inform of daily specials and upcoming Prime Rib Dinner nights. Parkside Perk will also take advantage of their unique location by staying open to serve patrons during the Festival of Lights – think hot drinks and a place to warm up with the family!
To learn more about Parkside Perk, you can visit them at 410 Front Street, find them on their website at www.parksideperk.ca or check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Their phone number is (519) 344-2228 and email can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.