FireSide Classic Grill

A popular full-service small town restaurant thrives during the pandemic

The FireSide Classic Grill is a popular restaurant in the community of Elliot Lake, Ontario. A pretty, friendly town surrounded by lakes, mountains and wilderness, Elliot Lake is in the eastern end of Algoma Country, west of Sudbury and just north of Blind River. It has everything anyone would need in a community, with all of the conveniences and amenities of larger urban centres. That’s why it’s a popular tourist destination -- and it's why residents love it too.

(Photo credit: Sandra Trainor)

When I walked into the FireSide Classic Grill, I felt welcomed right away. The restaurant has a long history in Elliot Lake; it has been at its current location since 2011 and was part of the FireSide Hotel before that.

The restaurant has a large menu with many dishes created from fresh, local ingredients, serving customer favourites such as their prime rib dinners, house-made sauces, and fresh burger patties.

With menu items such as beer-battered onion petals and pulled pork poutine, jerk chicken salad and mushroom spinach salad, along with a variety of dishes featuring burgers, fish & chips, tacos, ribs, wings, steaks, pasta dishes, classic favourites and a kid’s menu, it means there is something delicious for everyone!

“Our customers come in and try different things each time they dine here,” says Chef and Kitchen Manager Shannon Wilcox.

(Photo credit: Sandra Trainor)

Shannon has been with the restaurant for over twelve years. “I really love Elliot Lake and couldn’t be happier working for (owner) Andrew Young, he’s a fantastic boss,” says Shannon. “Elliot Lake is a great town to settle down and raise a family.”

Originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Shannon has always been interested in food and its diversity. “Food provides a never-ending opportunity to create new combinations and tastes -- there are endless options," she says. Shannon has worked in hospitality for most of her career and honed her skills at Sault College’s Chef and Culinary Arts program.

(Photo credit: Sandra Trainor)

In addition to the regular menu, Shannon changes it up with “Chef Picks,” incorporating seasonal food into the dishes, for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, as well as creating special themed dishes for holiday dining.

(Photo credit: FireSide Classic Grill)

FireSide Classic Grill also offers catering services. They have a food truck, which lets them bring and prepare meals for weddings and a variety of community events. When the pandemic happened, of course, all of that shut down. At first, they were not able to serve anything because they weren’t an “essential business”.

Seeing the need and an opportunity, Andrew and his staff got to work on creating an online grocery store. Because groceries were considered essential, this ingenious pivot meant their staff could keep working.

(Photo credit: FireSide Classic Grill)

When the restaurant was able to start opening up again for patio and takeout, they considered shutting down the online store. However, the service had become so popular that they decided to keep it going due to overwhelming customer demand. The online store offers fresh cuts of meat, fruit, vegetables, dairy, baking etc. as well as freshly prepared food like lasagnas, tourtiere, stuffed chicken breast and much more.

It is all delivered in-town and to communities on the North Shore such as Blind River, Algoma Mills and Spragge.

(Photo credit: FireSide Classic Grill)

The FireSide Classic Grill sources some of their food and drink items locally, such as greens and local craft beer from Manitoulin Brewing Company. They are always searching for more ways to include local in their menu items.

(Photo credit: FireSide Classic Grill)

Staff and management are eager to get the restaurant fully opened again for their customers and visitors to the community. It’s a testament to the great quality of the food and the hard-working kitchen staff that this restaurant is not only putting out great food during a pandemic but that the community has supported them so well over the last 18 months. 

“We have a fantastic team here and we really appreciate the hard work they put into the kitchen and restaurant every day,” says Shannon.

The FireSide Classic Grill

14A Oakland Blvd, Elliot Lake
PH: (705) 461-3711
Facebook: @firesideclassic FireSide Food Shop
Instagram: @firesideclassic

About Sandra J. Trainor

Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Sandra is a Freelance Marketing Consultant, specializing in assisting busy small businesses maximize sales and marketing ROI. Sandra recently returned to her hometown, after living and working in the Simcoe County area for more than 30 years. It was there where she developed her passion for local food and agriculture, while working with farmers, producers, farmers’ markets, retailers, and restaurateurs. She believes that food brings people together, no matter what their background and that food grown and produced close to us should be not only supported, but celebrated. In her spare time, Sandra loves to explore area lakes in her kayak and spending time at her cottage on the North Shore.

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