Fredericton — With news of a St. Louis Bar & Grill opening at the old McGinnis Landing location downtown, Fredericton residents are cautiously optimistic that the restaurant’s parking lot and portion sizes will be huge enough.
“Price matters a bit, of course, but when it comes down to it, I only give a crap about the parking lot and the size of the meal. They’d better bring my food out on a big-ass platter, and I damn sure am not walking more than a couple feet to my car afterwards,” said Bob Jarvis of Devon.
Jarvis generally frequents chain restaurants in the uptown area because of the ample parking available, and the predictably massive portion sizes.
“I don’t want any surprises. East Side Mario’s, Montana’s, Boston Pizza — all my favourites. I know all the food comes from a box in the freezer, but check out the parking lot! I could bring a truck and trailer here. And when I’m done eating I can go right on over to Costco and gas up. That’s what I call one-stop shopping!”
Others like Jarvis say the only perks that could bring their business downtown are more chains, with more parking and more food.
“I refuse to eat somewhere that doesn’t have a laminated menu, six or seven big-screen TVs on the wall, and Bud Light on tap,” said Ellen Davidson of Hanwell. “And I like it when the waitress introduces herself and writes her name upside-down on the paper tablecloth. That’s just good service.
“Nothing grinds my gears more than when friends try to drag you to one of these fancy ‘local’ places with a chef, or some kinda ‘creative’ menu, or not enough fries, or where you have to park on the street and walk. So I have my hopes up for the St. Louis bar…but if they don’t have all-you-can-eat wings, I’m out.”
Brad Arkell of Forest Hill agreed.
“I heard Snooty Fox is expanding, but unless they’re expanding their plate size or their parking, you won’t catch me there,” he huffed. “And I want to go somewhere that sings ‘happy birthday’ to the Mrs. when I take her out once a year, too. These independent places just aren’t thinking about our needs the way the big guys are.”
Frank Harrison of Nashwaaksis said he can see himself enjoying a few racks of ribs at St. Louis Bar & Grill, mainly because of the location.
“It’s right off the bridge, so it’s hardly even driving downtown at all. You basically just cross the river and pull off into the parking lot. So yeah, I think it’ll be a great new restaurant.”