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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ardmore Tea Room's 50th

Posted By on Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 12:25 PM

HRM businesses come and go---that’s why this column exists. It’s also why the Ardmore Tea Room (6499 Quinpool) is so remarkable: It’s been serving up reasonably priced diner eats in the same location for 50 years. The Ardmore’s also been owned by the same family, the Cormiers, the whole time (Cormier son Darrell is the current owner). The diner, which opened in spring 1958, celebrated its momentous birthday appropriately: For three days last week it offered a special limited menu at 1960s prices. One morning, breakfast was 65 cents. “Coffee was 15 cents; root-beer floats were 35 ,” adds manager Gilbert Warren. The restaurant didn’t advertise the event, intending it mainly as a reward for regular customers. But people caught wind of the deal anyway. “It got really crazy,” laughs Warren. “We saw just under 1,000 people on Wednesday. We only seat 60 at a time.” So, what’s the Ardmore’s secret to long-term success? “We have a lot of loyalty,” says Warren. “A lot of our customers do come back a lot.” While the menu’s obviously changed over the years---the restaurant now serves Fair Trade coffee, for example---many of its homemade menu staples have stayed pretty much the same. “It’s still very traditional,” says Warren. 

Hey, we’re all for tradition---especially if that tradition includes yummy fishcakes. Congratulate the Ardmore at 423-7523.

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