M’CHIGEENG – Janice Sweeney, owner of Seasons Family Restaurant in M’Chigeeng has seen a lot over the past 15 years she has worked in the hospitality business, but the past year-and-a-half has really taken the cake. Still, despite all of the setbacks, lockdowns and other challenges that have taken place, Seasons is alive and well and very much ready to serve its loyal fanbase.
Ms. Sweeney learned the restaurant trade under the inimitable Ron Ense baa, the popular chef whose Crosshill Road establishment was the go-to place for Sunday brunch on Manitoulin.
Formerly located in the M’Chigeeng Complex, Seasons was long a feature of “downtown” M’Chigeeng, but the impact of COVID and other challenges dictated a change of venue.
The restaurant originally shut down in March last year at the start of the pandemic, then moved to providing takeout only—but it really wasn’t working out. “I was open as long as I could, but it wasn’t feasible,” she said. “I was able to open in April and I was able to stay open until November. By then we were already building here.”
“But I was still paying my rent and hydro the whole time,” she said. Eventually, Ms. Sweeney decided that it made sense to move Seasons to its new location at 187 Highway 551, just a ways up the road from the old location in behind the family’s Finn’s Gas Bar and Convenience. The restaurant opened in its new location in August.
The only thing that has really changed is the location, Ms. Sweeney assures The Expositor. The menu at Seasons Family Restaurant remains the same, which comes as little surprise as the menu selections were developed to meet her customers’ needs. “Good solid food and it is all made here on the premises,” she said.
The new location hasn’t really impacted business in any negative way, said Ms. Sweeney. “We have been very busy.”
The restaurant employs eight staff and Ms. Sweeney said that she doesn’t expect to change that much even after the pandemic passes. “I have a small dependable staff,” she said. “They are very good.”
Seasons Family Restaurant is open and ready to serve. “Everyone is welcome,” said Ms. Sweeney.
The restaurant is open seven days a week, Monday to Friday from 7 am to 7 pm and Saturday to Sunday from 8 am to 7 pm.