The Journal Pioneer
[SUMMERSIDE, PE] – A new restaurant is opening at a location that has already built a solid reputation in the food service community.
As early as month's end, Poppy's, a 40-to-50-seat sit-down restaurant, will open at the Summerside Legion.
For decades the Legion and its Ladies Auxiliary has provided food service for countless banquets, weddings and special events.
Manager Robert Palmer said opening a restaurant with many of the dishes it's become known for seemed like a natural progression in the Legion's growth.
"It was something we were thinking about for the last couple of years," said Palmer. "We feel it is a good time to open. Overall, the response that we got when we announced that we were going to provide food on a daily basis has been great. I think we are going to do really well."
The menu will include pub fare and favourites from Legion banquet menus such as hot turkey dinners and lobster suppers.
"We are not looking at anything that is going to be mass production. To a certain extent, we feel our markets may be a little bit different than other restaurants that are in the city," added Palmer. "It's not fine dining. It will be more of what the Legion already offers, which is that home-style meal that's been offered upstairs by our Ladies Auxiliary for 50 years."
The restaurant is located on the main level in the lounge area. A full downstairs kitchen was added during recent renovations.
There will be little change to the current décor. The intent is that photographs now hanging will provide dinners a glimpse into Legion's history and purpose.
Poppy's will be open seven days a week, offering Sunday brunch and extended hours on weekends. It's expected the Legion's staff will grow from 21 to 30 full and part-time employees with the addition of the restaurant.
"It's not going to be a gigantic restaurant, but we feel we can keep those 44 seats filled," said Palmer.
Revenue will go back into the Legion's coffers and go to causes it supports.
The hope with the new venture is to get new people through the Legion's doors.
"We constantly see in the paper ... that Legions are becoming smaller and some smaller Legions are closing their doors. We are really not looking at doing that. We've actually been quite successful in holding our membership and it looks like this year our membership will increase."