SO WE BOUGHT A MOTEL...AND A RESTAURANT!
We’re motel girls — not restaurateurs. But, when we found our dream motel property in Sauble Beach last year, we knew it came with one tiny, slightly terrifiying caveat: a 120 seat indoor-outdoor dining lounge on site. Although we never imagined ourselves in the restaurant industry because it feels even more fast paced, unpredictable and labour intensive than operating a motel, we knew we couldn’t let this vintage gem go.
So, we brought in some reinforcement to serve up all of the savoury sharing plates, reinvented classic mains and old school bevvies with a twist.
Meet the crew behind Heydays: Fred, Katie, Evan and Cas.
This group of talented individuals brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, from work experience in the Greater Toronto Area as general managers, head chefs and operations gurus for well loved restaurants and bars. They’re also the geniuses behind Bobbie Sue’s Mac and Cheese in the heart of downtown Toronto. They’re the kind of people that, at the end of a long day, whether it’s been good or bad, you want to sit down and share a bottle of wine with.
We started brainstorming big things for the restaurant from the beginning, and knew that together we could create a space that was retro and bold, and that served the kind of food you dreamt about long after the meal was done. Plus, they mentioned they wanted to do frosé and an ice cream bar — we were hooked!
The Heydays crew met over 10 years ago while working at Fishers Island Club, a summer resort along the coast of Connecticut in Long Island Sound, where they served up rum punch until the sun went down all summer long. That’s where their casual yet refined coastal cuisine dreams meet our Montauk seafood shack inspiration.
At its core, Heydays celebrates a time when things were at their best, a throwback to the good old summer days. After all, in its glory days, this retro dining lounge was the local hotspot in Sauble Beach. Now, we're busy restoring it to its "heyday" with the original wood paneling and all.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM HEYDAYS?
FROM THE KITCHEN:
We're starting with a takeout menu that will reflect our rosé state of mind, but that offers a more casual dining experience that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home or on our pop-up patio. Think charred broccoli caesar salad, old bay fried chicken and lobster mac and cheese. And fresh oysters, of course. You can either come hangout on our front patio or shuck them yourselves!
FROM THE SPACE:
We’re embracing tile and leaning into sun bleached colours, inspired by Sauble Beach in its prime. Here are some of the photos we've drawn inspiration for the dining experience and design from. We're talking about funky umbrellas, pastel coloured flatware and retro furniture.
Q&A WITH HEAD CHEF FRED:
Finally, meet the man behind the food! From Singaporean and South East Asian street food to Southern style comfort food, Fred can do it all. At Heydays, he'll be combining coastal and French influenced cuisine to bring you dishes like smoked whitefish dip and his very own Alice Waters salad, all inspired by locally sourced ingredients. Curious about what that salad even is? You'll just have to try it for yourself.
Q: Dish are you most proud of on the Heydays menu?
A: I love our hot buttered lobster roll.
Q: What's the one rule you live by as a chef?
A: I am in the salt, fat, acid school of cooking - if something tastes under-seasoned it usually needs one of those things.
Q: One food you absolutely can't live without?
A: Potatoes. In every form, but especially fries.
Q: Best wine on the Heydays menu?
A: My favourite wine right now is the Ombré Gris from Grange Winery. It's a funky, skin contact orange wine that pairs beautifully with the charred broccoli Caesar salad and hot lobster roll.
We're not quite ready to deliver the full restaurant experience just yet, but we are offering a sneak peek! On July 10, Heydays will launch takeout and a patio pop-up. Join us!