Cornwall welcomed 10 new restaurants in 2019

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By Shawna O'Neill
Cornwall welcomed 10 new restaurants in 2019
El Tumbao opened its doors in 2019 alongside nine other restaurants in Cornwall. Photo by Ryan Kuhn.

CORNWALL, Ontario – Last year saw a surge of new flavours enter our city as 10 new restaurants cropped up to offer some enticing and tasty experiences.

After only one month into 2020, two more restaurants are set to open soon and become the newest additions to an ever-growing scene of diverse local cuisine.

“We are happy that more and more entrepreneurs are choosing to invest in Cornwall,” said Bob Peters, City Economic Development Division Manager. “New restaurants bring new dining experiences, which helps us to attract visitors and new residents. Many of our new restaurants are moving into spaces that were restaurants in the past, which adds to the vitality of those business areas.”

2019 saw the following spots open their doors…

  • Brunch on Pitt, located at 537 Pitt St.
  • El Tumbao, located at 25 Second St. E
  • Lounge 58 Bar and Grill, located at 58 Pitt St.
  • Love Sushi, located at 720 Fourteenth St. W
  • Mary Brown’s, located at 1718 Vincent Massey Dr.
  • Taco Bell, located at 418 Ninth St. W
  • The Birchwood Café, located at 109 Pitt St.
  • The Happy Popcorn Co., located at 5 First St. E
  • Tilly’s, located at 101 Pitt St.
  • Wing House, located at 1730 Vincent Massey Dr.

“A recent Statistics Canada study found that 54 per cent of Canadians eat out more than once a week. In Cornwall, the variety of taste experiences our community offers ranges from traditional comfort food, to local food flavours, to international tastes,” explained Peters.

Since opening just over a month ago, Carson Killham, co-Owner of The Birchwood Cafe with his fiance Gina Seandrett, is already looking to partner with local businesses and host different monthly initiatives. Killham said that although he and Seandrett are still just getting to know the neighbourhood, he feels that the timing and location of their new business is perfect.

The Birchwood Cafe offers a home style experience, mainly focused on healthy comfort food. Killham explained that they make jams and hot sauces, lasagnas, beef pies, salads, sandwiches, a number of desserts and more; everything is created in-house, daily.

Also located in the downtown core, El Tumbao has been spicing things up in the city since mid-October. The restaurant gives locals a taste of tropical foods popular in Peru, including favourites like a stir fry lomo saltado, seafood jalea and hot fish dish of ceviche. The business is now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Owner Luis Nalvarte said he is always trying new things, recently kicking off salsa dancing classes for anyone in the public brave enough to try out their moves. El Tumbao also converts to a club atmosphere Friday through Sunday evenings and is soon looking to host live entertainment, offering a hip and diverse atmosphere.

“Although its very early in 2020, we look forward to new restaurants opening, including The Spicy Pearl (located at 9 First St. E) and the Stonehouse Lounge and Grill at NAV CENTRE,” said Peters.

Lee Theodore, co-Owner of The Spicy Pearl with Roger Caron, is excited to unveil his business soon and believes it will be Cornwall’s Caribbean gem. Having lived in the city for 18 years with experience working at a multitude of local restaurants, Theodore said he will be most excited at the business’ one-year anniversary. He is also looking forward to bridging a cultural aspect through the business.

“We want this spot to be a beacon. We know we are growing as a city and connection can happen through food,” said Theodore. “I’m confident because I have seen (its success). If I had not seen it, I wouldn’t do it.”

Theodore explained how he has tested out Cornwall’s palate through monthly Caribbean nights at Spinners Diner and is happy unveil even more flavours soon. Some standout menu items will include Haitian griot, Jamaican jerk chicken with rice and peas, red snapper fish, stew, as well as vegan and fish options.

“Cornwall has a growing population, and one that is changing as we welcome new residents that bring with them a variety of experience, skills and cultural backgrounds,” said Peters. “We are fortunate to welcome new restaurants and at the same time we celebrate the many excellent existing restaurants that continue to serve our community and have done so for many years.”

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