Casey’s Grill Bar North Bay has been a city landmark since 1985.
For nearly four decades the family-owned and operated business continues to provide customers with the same high-quality food and service they have come to rely on.
“We're not a chain. We are now independent,” said North Bay owner Janice Brown Tourigny.
“There are about 7 Casey’s in Ontario and Quebec and we are all independent now since 2016.”
Customers have been known to travel hours to enjoy the Casey’s experience in the Gateway City.
“We get people coming from Sudbury just to dine with us which is kind of nice. They miss it there,” shared bar manager Matthew Tourigny.
There is a feeling of family among staff and customers.
“I think a big part of what keeps people coming back is the consistency. Our food is good. People feel comfortable coming here. Our staff is friendly and courteous. I have a lot of long-term staff, explained Brown Tourigny.
“So their skills and knowledge I’m talking 20-25 years, even 30 years for some. They enjoy working here and it just keeps our guests coming back.”
Some of the classics are still available on the menu.
“We have sort of a core menu that people have loved over the years. We’ve got all the Casey’s classics, things they’ve known like say our warm cheese, spinach and artichoke dip or our wings,” Brown Tourigny quickly added that “Casey’s wings are kind of famous. They’re very good. We make all our sauces in-house from scratch.”
Hungry for something that will take you through the day?
Look no further than another classic, the stacked sandwich filled with grilled seasoned chicken breast, panko-crusted cheddar cheese, bacon, tomatoes, sliced Granny Smith apples and orange poppyseed slaw on a ciabatta bun.
“Our most popular dish is our cashew chicken stir fry. Our jambalaya is fantastic and our ribs are incredible. Our Roasted Red Pepper soup we make every day in-house from scratch. Those have been staples here for a long time that are really popular,” Tourigny added with pride.
Buffalo chicken wraps and buffalo chicken strips are also popular.
“Everything is fresh. So, fresh steaks, fresh chicken from Canadian suppliers.”
The restaurant has developed local partnerships to add to the selections.
“We have a great partnership with New Ontario (Brewing Company) we have three draft lines of theirs. We recently brought on some wing sauce from Hades Coffee, a local coffee company but they also make devilishly good sauces and barbecue rubs, and a couple of other products. We also try to incorporate some Leisure Farms products,” said Matt Tourigny.
“It has been a little harder to change up the menu since we’ve been independent especially with COVID in the way because our management team has just been focused on working through that. I have had to help out in the kitchen quite often, so a little less time on menu development. A little more time doing other jobs currently.”
The hope is to work on menu development with even more items for the New Year.
The return of sports has the owner hopeful fans and teams will be backfilling seats.
”A big part of Casey’s nightlife pre-COVID, we would get the teams in after games and the university, college students. So late night was a big part. We’re hopeful in a month or two we’ll be able to stay open later,” Brown Tourigny stated.
Like many restaurants Casey’s North Bay is facing staffing challenges, getting enough staff in the kitchen and getting staff trained.
It is open six days a week, closed Mondays due to staffing shortages despite advertising for help all summer. But there are signs things are starting to pick up in that department as seasonal work ends and people start looking for more permanent work for the rest of the year.
Clientele continues to be a mix of families, seniors, young professionals, students and tradesmen.
Casey’s has gained a reputation for giving back to the community.
“We sponsor almost a whole men’s hockey league, we’ve had an annual golf tournament for years and years we’ve been helping out with the Capitol Centre. We have also been helping with the Humane Society golf tournaments. We’ve sponsored various high school athletics and also other youth athletic teams over the years,” shared Matthew Tourigny.
Now in its 36th year, the restaurant owners and staff look forward to serving the community for many more years to come.