Family partners in new restaurant, store
A new restaurant has opened at the top of town.
The new venture is a three-way partnership between Angus residents Marcel and Pamela Venne, and her brother James Dewitt, of Waubaushene. They have named the restaurant Dewennes, a portmanteau of their last names.
The restaurant opened on Feb. 4, although operations were limited during the lockdown.
Current restrictions have impacted the opening, but this is actually the second time the family has opened a restaurant during the pandemic.
They also operate the Riverside Hideaway restaurant in Coldwater, set in the village’s historic grist mill, built in 1833.
That restaurant opened in July under different circumstances, said Pamela.
She recalls, at that time patios were open for dining and they had a plan for opening day when suddenly the province began allowing indoor seating.
“We were overrun,” said Pamela, adding that they ended up expanding the patio to meet the demand.
Pamela said she first discovered the village of Creemore after riding her horse in the Dufferin forest. She and other riders came to the restaurant for brunch after their trail ride.
She said she has many years of experience working for the corporation that owns Kelsey’s and other chains, working her way up through the industry from dishwasher to manager. Her husband is retired from the military, and they have seven children between them. Dewitt is a contractor and completed an extensive renovation of Riverside Hideaway before it opened.
More recently she asked a real estate friend to let her know if anything became available in Creemore and an opportunity led her back to that same restaurant.
Pamela said they are leaning on the staff from the other location as they get established. The plan is to offer breakfast and carry over some of the favourite menu items from the other restaurant such as spinach cheese dip, stirfry, steaks, pasta Alfredo and fish dishes.
The family has leased the restaurant and convenience store. They had hoped to operate the gas bar but it is inoperable at the moment and would need a large investment to get it going.
They have opened up a doorway between the store and the restaurant, and are working out what to offer.
Dewennes is now open for breakfast on the weekends. The dining room opens at 8 a.m. but seating is limited to 10 indoors with a maximum of four per table, due to public health requirements.
To make a reservation, call 705-520-0060.
Dewennes is located at 7535 County Road 9, Creemore. Find them on Facebook for hours and full menu.
Trina Berlo photo: Marcel and Pamela Venne (from left), and James Dewitt have taken over the restaurant and convenience store in Creemore’s north end, opening Dewennes, a playful hybrid of their last names.