New Ventures Under a New Roof
Story by Nancy Saunders, Photo by Adrian Lysenko
Red Lion Smokehouse is relocating from its current location at Cumberland and Park, to around the corner into the former Crocks/The Office space at 16 South Cumberland Street. John Murray and Alexandra Bono, the owners of the restaurant that opened in 2014, purchased the building and have invited some friends to join them in their move.
The new concept is one of symbiosis—retail spaces that provide Red Lion with products and services will line one wall, bringing expanded and diverse options to the ever-blossoming downtown core. With windows between the restaurant and the shops, patrons of Ungalli Clothing Co., Big Lake Pasta, and La Luna Wellness Studio get a view to the bustling pub, while Red Lion patrons can see how local businesses produce and showcase their work. The restaurant plans to open by March, with retail spaces opening in January.
Ungalli has been on the Thunder Bay clothing scene since 2013. Several local businesses choose Ungalli for their uniforms and promotional items, including Red Lion. Owned by sisters Hailey and Bree Hollinsworth, the company offers Canadian-made and designed garments fabricated from recycled polyester and organic cotton. Ungalli’s new space will consist of a storefront where you will find Ungalli items as well as a selection of local clothing, jewelry, and other goods.
Big Lake Pasta, a favourite among restaurants and home cooks since July 2015, is moving their operations and retail space. Owner Andrew Murchinson makes his pasta in small batches using traditional recipes and techniques. One of the few items Red Lion offers that is not made in-house, Big Lake Pasta will continue to be featured on Red Lion menu with new items coming in the new year.
Paula DiGuiseppe and Melanie Bergeron are La Luna Wellness Studio, a full-spectrum wellness studio. “We have yoga, dance fitness, breathwork, kettlebell, bootcamps, a nutritionist, traditional Indigenous dance…” says DiGuiseppe. They offer group and private lessons, from beginner to advanced. La Luna has worked with Red Lion on Pints & Poses events, and will help develop new vegan and gluten-free menu offerings through the restaurant’s focus on healthy eating options.
“Red Lion will follow the same concept, with new events, new menu items, a private dining area, and large dining room,” says Murray. “We’ll have more beers on tap, games, darts, foosball, and a more ‘loungey’ feel. It’s a bigger capacity, and we’ll have a summer patio. We’re turning everything up!”
Created from an interest in exploring ways to partner together and provide multiple offerings under one roof, this exciting new move is surely something to look forward to.