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Let's Eat: Fine foods but not fine dining

We are known for our big steak, our 30-ounce steaks. We’re also known for our pickerel, our pan-fried pickerel, our pickerel bites for an appetizer, and our chicken parm.

Open for just over one month, Anglers Pub and Grill in Callander, is already gaining a reputation for serving up delicious food in a warm and inviting atmosphere. 

Customers might recognize restaurant owner and lifelong Callander resident Jann Bobenic-Costante, who brings years of industry experience to the position, having worked at Churchill’s, the Waltonian Inn, and Terrace Suites.  

“My goal is to have fine foods, but not fine dining. So, our menu range is from chicken fingers, chicken wings, and burgers to salmon, 30-ounce steaks, and homemade pasta. We cover everything, so you can come out and have some really nice food, equivalent to any fine dining place in North Bay. Young children are very welcome,” Bobenic-Costante stated.

The restaurant owner says customer response has been “unbelievable.”

“I am overwhelmed by the comments. We do everything from scratch, homemade. I have a fantastic Chef, he is from Toronto and his sous-chef has been with us for three or four years. I have basically the same staff I had at the Waltonian Inn. They have stuck by us, so we’re all familiar with each other. We have age,” laughed the owner.  “We have experience”

The restaurant's name is a reflection of her hometown.

“Coming from a small fishing town, I started out at the Waltonian Inn, so a lot of guys fishing and sledding and whatnot, and pickerel is one of our big dishes, so we went with being an angler town.”

A Callander girl through and through, Bobenic-Costante knows her customer base.

“Some of our customers are kind of laughing with me because my grandmother had the Red Line Inn Hotel which was beside this, and she also had the Lakeview Inn, and the Windsor in New Liskeard,” explained Bobenic-Costante.

“So some of the elderly people in Callander are laughing that I’ve taken over what my grandmother did. And she was the one who was responsible for getting the liquor license in this town.”

Opening day was December ninth 2022.

“We were renovating all of November and December ninth we opened.”

The restaurant has been busy ever since, open seven days a week, with the kitchen operating from 4 to 9 p.m.

“We got a lot of Christmas business. The town has been so supportive. It has been crazy. We’re busy, and I’ve got lots of staff, so we’re just getting a lunch menu together and away we go.”

In the meantime, she is getting repeat customers who are enjoying the wide variety of dinner menu options.

“We are known for our big steak, our 30-ounce steaks. We’re also known for our pickerel, our pan-fried pickerel, our pickerel bites for an appetizer, and our beet salad. But I think our steaks put us on the menu because they come on a great big plate and everybody is like ‘Oh my gosh’ when they see it and of course the pickerel. Our fish and chips are fantastic too.”

The chicken parm is another customer favourite.

“Price-wise I would say we are middle of the road. We have fine foods but we’re not fine dining prices.”

Location-wise, Bobenic-Costante is exactly where she has always wanted to be, after getting a call from the owner of the Breakfast House, asking if she would be interested in his business.

“I really wanted a corner location, but didn’t necessarily want a breakfast house, so we went with our original Anglers Pub and Grill which we established in 2017. Our logo is up, everything is done. We’re here for the long haul,” said Bobenic-Costante.

She is already looking to expand the business to include breakfast and lunch.

There is no exact date for when lunch will start up, but the staff is lined up and ready to go when the time comes.

“We’re working on the menu right now for lunch. We’re going to be open for lunch later this month. And we’ll probably do breakfast weekends, once the sledding starts, and then venture into breakfast through the whole week. “

Like the food but can’t get there? Anglers Pub and Grill delivers.

“We will deliver up to Terrace Suites and as far as Osprey Links just out of the goodness of our hearts to help. So we will do local deliveries too.”

A quick look at the wall décor and people will recognize the work of local artists and a picture of the former lighthouse landmark.

The restaurant seats roughly 39 people indoors, and the plan is to open up an outdoor patio to seat another 27 when the warmer weather arrives.

“So the restaurant will basically double in the summer. So that will be nice. We’re looking forward to expanding in the summer. It is nice to be on the corner too because it is kind of like the four corners. So I’m looking forward to Canada Day. It seems the one thing people still want to do is go out.”

Anglers Pub and Grill is located at 6 Main Street South Callander, across from the gas bar.