Riverest (the restaurant), which was opened a few years ago in one of L’Orignal’s most historic buildings, is closing. The restaurant was part of a larger project, which included the management of the L’Orignal Marina (formerly operated by Champlain Township) and hosting events. The plans also included adding lodging options.
A press release issued October 20 says that while the restaurant is ‘booming’ during summer months, it is a different story in the winter, given the drop in tourism, snowbirds heading South and the ski-cottage seasoners heading North.
The press releases cites other challenges, including those facing any new business, but points to the hurdles facing even well-established restaurants. The labour shortage, the increasing cost of food (leading to rising prices for customers), and the notion that restaurants are at the mercy of key players, such as executive chefs, were challenges for Riverest. The press release also mentions the past two years of construction on King Street.
While the restaurant served its last customers on October 15, it is considering other options which would allow clients looking for something simpler to find their fix. Riverest notes that its gift cards remain redeemable towards any of Riverest’s other services.
The venue, at 52 Wharf Street, will continue to host events such as weddings and corporate gatherings. It is also announcing that guests will be able to stay in the 1830, five-bedroom home as a short-term rental, similar to Airbnb or Vrbo. Those interested in renting the venue for events will be able to do so, in addition to the possibility of renting accommodation.
The press release states that it had many inquiries from out-of-town clients to host their weddings but that unfortunately, the lack of accommodation was too often an issue, particularly for the bridal party.
More information will be available soon on Riverest’s website.
In 2021, The Review reported that Riverest Inc. had signed a five-year lease with Champlain Township to rent the marina.
Riverest is one of Ontario’s finest examples of Regency-style architecture.