Nook: Modern Italian Cuisine in the Bay & Algoma District

A popular addition to upscale food culture in Thunder Bay is Nook, an Italian restaurant, which can be found in the Bay and Algoma District at the corner of Bay St. and Machar.

Related: Unique Shopping in the Bay & Algoma District


Nook is another example of a restaurant obtaining immediate success upon opening its doors, which was in July of 2015. Owner Caitlin Jeffs comments that Thunder Bay residents are so keen they can create havoc with their enthusiasm. “The first month was exhausting! Most restaurant owners, chefs and staff need about six months to get their bearings,” Caitlin states.


Caitlin has lived in Thunder Bay for the last 13 years and her brother, Mike, who lives in Vancouver owns three restaurants, one upon which Nook’s design is partially based. Nook’s layout incorporates locally milled pinewood for the counters, bar and ceiling. The flooring is made of reconstituted wood from old barns from Ontario and out east. The flooring belonged to Portobello Home, an upscale furniture design shop, which relocated next door. They also provided Nook’s elegant furniture. The restaurant is colourful and bright. With an open concept, the occasional burst of flame from the frying pans can entertain. “We keep the chefs on display,” laughs Caitlin.


The long bar might seem imposing for some at first since the “bar” is meant for meals rather than for serving drinks. It’s not a full bar – no mixed drinks or liqueurs. They have stuck with Italian wines and specialty coffees with locally roasted beans from St. Paul Roastery for Americanos, espressos and cappuccinos. However, the long table has earned its fans for its communal feel becoming a great place to meet new people.


Another big feature unique to Nook is the outdoor patio where diners have the option to sit in the sun during the day or enjoy an outdoor candlelit evening. Formerly a garage the big door that opens up during the summer is a unique attraction and unusual for Thunder Bay. Few restaurants have taken advance of the outdoors.


Lunch and dinner specials are posted on a board and the menus are changing on average about every two months and seasonally with the availability of farm fresh produce. The prosciutto comes from Italy. Local food is used as much as possible, especially in the summer. The pasta, dough, bread, sauces, and more are all made in house.


As of this writing, lunches will include: Cold selection; Crostini, House made granola, Soaked Muesli, Italian Plate. Hot selection: Baked Egg, Frittata, Baked Pancake. Pizza includes: Margherita, Carbonara, Prosciutto. There are add-ons, sides and lunch juices available.


As of this writing, dinners will include Antipaso: Olives, Focaccia, Meatballs, Salamix, Vegetabel Antipasto Platter, Daily Mozzarella Plate. Home Made Pasta includes: Rigatoni, Spaghetti Puttanesca, Bucatini All Amatriciana, Gnocchi, Rigatoni. Pizzas include: Margherita, Salami, Prosciutto, Italian Sausage, Ricotta and Spinach. There is a list of add-ons for the pizza.


About Duncan Weller

A writer and visual artist, Duncan Weller is a Governor General's Award winner who lives in Thunder Bay. You can visit his website at His latest two books are a novel, Flight of the Silk, and an expanded edition of the award-winning children's picture book, The Boy from the Sun.

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