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National restaurant chains tap into Sudbury market

The restaurant sector in Sudbury continues to grow, with many of the new entries in the market part of national chains.
Joe Sheridan and some of the new staff at Milestones, a restaurant owned by the Cara Restaurants chain. The eatery opened up in New Sudbury last week. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

The restaurant sector in Sudbury continues to grow, with many of the new entries in the market part of national chains.

Some observers say interest in the city from national chains is another sign of a more stable economy.

Local economist David Robinson said diversification into international mining service and supply, along with growth in the college and university sectors, have all helped stabilize the economy.

But he said some chains may also be looking north because they've already saturated other markets.

“We are also 100 years old and not shrinking and with a reasonably solid income base, so yeah, they are going to come,” Robinson said.

'These guys all do their homework'

In recent months, major restaurant player Prime opened a Fionn McCools franchise in Sudbury.

Company vice-president Peter Natyshak said the strength of the economy was one factor when Prime decided to open a Fionn McCool's franchise here.

“You just see strength in the general economic outlook in the region because of what is going on in mining and the influx of other restaurant companies looking for space,” he said.

Cara Restaurants opened Milestones last week. And later this month, St. Louis Bar and Grill will open two Sudbury locations — just to name a few of the national brands now in Sudbury.

Leslie Moutsatsos and her husband opened the Pat and Mario's restaurant in New Sudbury almost 30 years ago. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

Almost 30 years ago, Leslie Moutsatsos and her husband opened Pat and Mario's in New Sudbury. It was part of a chain when it opened, but is now independent.

Moutsatsos has watched the industry grow over the years.

“It does say something about Sudbury growing and Sudbury being stable,” she said.

“Obviously these guys all do their homework. They know what they need in a community to survive.”

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