Jeff Green | Jun 05, 2008
Feature Article - June 5, 2008
Back toHomeFeature Article - June 5, 2008 Maples brings beachfront dining back in Sharbot LakeBy Jeff Green
Town Crier Paddy O'Connor, Owners Lorrette & Phil Gray, Central Frontenac Mayor Janet Gutowski. Photo Janet Ranger.
Lorrette and Phil Gray are approaching their fifth anniversary as the operators of Maples Pizza, and a few weeks ago they opened their new restaurant, the Maples, at the beach in Sharbot Lake.
They purchased Sunsets earlier this year from Andrea Dickinson and Steve Duggan, and spent the winter preparing for their opening. Since May 10 the pizzeria and the restaurant have both been open, but that is going to change.
In an interview during the afternoon lull at the restaurant last week, Phil Gray said, “We're hoping to have the pizzeria moved over here by July 1, and we should have our liquor license within three weeks.”
The Grays have been working flat out running the two businesses, while Phil has been overseeing the construction of an addition at the rear to handle the pizza ovens and other equipment.
“Phil covers the kitchen end. He's been cooking in restaurants for 40 years, and I've been in the service end for a long time as well,” said Lorette, “so it was really a natural move for us when Steve and Andrea put the restaurant up for sale. It was a matter of finding out how we could afford it, but by selling our other property we seem to have been able to swing it.”
When the Maples Restaurant opened on Mother's Day weekend, there were glitches with equipment - the cash registers decided not to work and a heat lamp literally went on the fritz, but an appreciative crowd enjoyed having a new restaurant in town, and people have been streaming to the Maples ever since.
“We want to cater to the local people, and our menu is designed with that in mind. We will serve liver and onions, hamburgers, club sandwiches and all the items people have been asking for, and as well, since we are going to have pizza, we will also serve light Italian fare,” said Phil Gray.
Among main course entrees in the dinner menu are chicken parmagiana, pasta primavera, and lasagne, as well as Chicken Kiev and New York Sirloin.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip and Bruschetta are two of the starters on the menu, along with Nachos, Cheddar and Jalapeno Munchers, and stuffed mushroom caps.
The Maples will be open 7 days a week until at least Thanksgiving weekend, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Pizza will be available in the restaurant and at a take out window off the west-facing parking lot.
The Grays are contemplating closing for one or two days a week during the winter months. “But that is a long way off,” said Phil Gray, “for now we are working hard to get our staff trained and ready for the summer traffic.”
The Maples should have everything in place: the liquor license, take out counter, and pizza ovens, by the first of July, which coincidentally is the busiest day of the year at the Oso beach and the 5th Anniversary of the opening of Maples Pizza.