For Grand Forks’ newest restaurant, the key is freshness. The owner and manager are also counting on another ‘F’, that of the importance of family to make the Granby River Roadhouse standout.
The Roadhouse is attached to the Ramada Inn across from Extra Foods.
Owner/investor Daniel Brown-Levesque took the building over from the previous tenants (Stoys’) in April. After extensive renovations, the Granby River Roadhouse officially opened on May 28.
“We put in about $5,000,” said Brown-Levesque. “We cleaned the carpets, remodeled it, made it brighter. Took out the Plexiglas. We’re not finished.”
Manager of the Roadhouse is Dave Leitner, who also works full-time at Roxul. Besides being manager, Leitner also helps in the kitchen as needed.
“We’re a family-operated restaurant,” he said. “Daniel’s my stepdad. My mom works in the back.”
Brown-Levesque said he bought and renovated the restaurant because there were no really good jobs in Grand Forks. “I had an epiphany,” he said. “I used to own the campground in Rock Creek. I liked working for myself. I wanted to employe people in Grand Forks.”
A major part of the appeal of the roadhouse is the fresh cooked food.
“There’s not many places here that have homestyle, cook-to-order food,” said Leitner.
“We make everything about 90 per cent from scratch,” said Brown-Levesque.
Leitner said the restaurant uses locally grown produce as much as possible.
“We have the benefit of living in this beautiful area,” he said. “We have these great resources. We feel it’s important and beneficial to support the local growers. This restaurant is based on supporting the community.”
Leitner said business has been getting better and better as more people find out about the restaurant.
“The main thing is serving good food,” he said. “We’ve had great feedback so far.”
Leitner said the restaurant specializes in homestyle comfort food such as pastas, burgers, soups including the Russian staple Borscht, steaks and more.
“Freshness is the key for our us,” he said.
Currently, the restaurant is not licensed but the pair say that it will happen in the future.
Leitner said the place is busy for weekend breakfasts as well as Fridays and Saturdays for the dinner rush. He said they get a lot of reservations from groups. They are also popular for motel guests.
Coming up with the restaurant name was easy for Brown-Levesque, who has a house on the Granby.
“I live right on the river,” he said. “It’s quite secluded and very private. I love it there.”
Another interesting fact about Brown-Levesque is that he speaks three languages, which comes in handy from time to time at the restaurant.
Leitner grew up in Christian Valley before heading out to Saskatchewan to work on the oil rigs as a driller. After the company went backrupt, he came back to the Boundary and went to work at Roxul.
“I know this area,” he said. “I could live anywhere but chose Grand Forks. I love it here.”
The Granby River Roadhouse is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Wednesday and from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. On weekends they open at 7 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.