Thunder Bay's Culinary Scene is on Fire!

Grilled delights at the Red Lion Smokehouse

people at smoker

Within a month of opening, in October 2014, the Red Lion Smokehouse attracted a loyal following, and nearly 5 years later their menu and craft beer selection have grown a following around the world. 

Originally on the corner of Park and Cumberland, Red Lion has recently moved just a few steps (67 to be exact) up the street to 16 S. Cumberland St. - Don't worry - they brought the bar with them...

The owners are John and Alex, a youthful couple and first time adventurers in running their own restaurant business. John trained as a chef in Toronto, lived and worked in England for eight years in a number of Michelin starred restaurants. The English influence is the reason for the “pub” feel, the stack of board games by the entrance, and the name and décor.

burger fries

Only the burger buns are not made from scratch. Everything else is, which is pretty phenomenal for our Northern location. As Alex states, with her broad smile, “We make our own ice cream, barbeque sauce, aioli sauce – everything. Nothing comes into this place that is made by someone else. And the brisket is smoked for 14 hours!”


As for the menu, expect surprises along with the basics. They have all the traditional English pub food and drinks you might expect; burgers, pulled pork, fish and chips, ribs, mac and cheese, etc., but they will thrill you with novel creations and healthy choices. The menu changes from time to time but the favourites are always there and you can never go wrong. 

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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