Crunch time for waterfront restaurant
A major piece of the waterfront puzzle has fallen into place, with a new restaurant to open its doors before Christmas.
The owners of Bight — located in the Water Garden Pavilion at Prince Arthur’s Landing — promise a casual atmosphere with a modern North American menu and an expansive beer, wine and cocktail list.
Co-owner and manager Bianca Garofalo said the city requested restaurant proposals last year and her pitch was selected.
That, said Garofalo, led to several months of negotiating and working out the details.
Renovation start this week, she said, and the space will be closed off while the work takes place.
“It seems like it’s a short time span,” said Garofalo.
“It appears that there needs to be a lot completed, and there does, but . . . the biggest process was planning to get to the construction stage, and that’s been underway for several months.
“Now we’re really ready to crunch and get everything done.”
The interior of the restaurant will be inspired by the architecture of the Water Garden Pavilion, and Thunder Bay’s position in Northwestern Ontario, Garofalo said.
“We pulled elements from the architecture, the woods and the feel,” she said.
“It has a modern Scandanavian appeal to it. And then, bringing that into the interior and using raw elements from where we are in Northwestern Ontario.”
It’s “bringing the outside in,” said co-owner and in-house sommelier Jeannie Dubois.
“It’s going to be contemporary, but casual,” said Dubois.
The menu, said executive chef Chris Groenheide, will be modern North American, with a foundation in French cooking techniques.
Groenheide, who is also a farmer, added that the menu will make use of a “lot of local, sustainable product.”
The drink list will include “hand-crafted cocktails, a really unique beer and keg list, a smaller but exciting wine list,” Dubois said.
Bight will feature a licensed patio in the summer, and the Mariner’s Hall in the Water Garden Pavilion can be used when Bight is hosting a larger function, Garofalo said.
Bight’s contract with the city also covers Prince Arthur’s Landing’s concession service, which is to be running by mid-November.
The opening of Bight will bring with it about 35 new jobs.
To fill those, the restaurant will be holding a pair of job fairs at its location in the Water Garden Pavilion on Oct. 13 from noon to 3 p.m., and Oct. 15, 6-9 p.m.