Sunday, June 16, 2024

New Edinburgh restaurant Fraser to close in late June

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Fraser, the much-admired New Edinburgh restaurant owned and run by the chefs and brothers Ross and Simon Fraser, is to close next month after marking its 16th anniversary earlier this month.

“We have been truly fortunate to operate a restaurant that has been able to grow, learn and contribute to our community over the years, but the time has come,” the siblings wrote in an Instagram post Tuesday.

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“We anticipate our last service to be June 26,” says the post, which notes that the Springfield Road restaurant’s lease is ending.

“But it isn’t goodbye,” says the post. “We are on the horizon of new projects. We’re excited to reimagine ourselves and the way in which we add to our city’s culinary and hospitality scape.”

“New opportunities are ahead,” Ross Fraser said in an interview Wednesday.

He noted that the brothers are to open a new restaurant in Altea Active Ottawa, the sprawling fitness and social club that is slated to open in late 2024 in the former Canadian Tire on Carling Avenue, west of Churchill Avenue.  

The Fraser brothers opened the first iteration of their eponymous restaurant in 2008. The business was then called Fraser Café, on Putman Avenue in New Edinburgh, in a former hamburger eatery. Anne DesBrisay, this newspaper’s restaurant critic at the time, called the café “small, cramped, endearingly cluttered… a neighbourhood gem with a short list of Canadian comfort food.”

In the fall of 2009, Fraser Café moved to larger digs on Springfield Road. Soon after, the brothers were lauded at Ottawa’s 2010 Gold Medal Plates competition, when they won bronze in a 10-chef field.

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In 2012, the Frasers opened Table 40, an event space next door to Fraser on Springfield Road. The Frasers also opened a second restaurant, the Rowan, in the Glebe in 2015. That gastropub is unaffected by the closure of its sibling on Springfield Road, Fraser said.

Table 40 closed during the pandemic. Also during the pandemic, Fraser Café dropped the “Café” from its name.

The closure announcement on Instagram prompted scores of Fraser’s well-wishers to leave messages of dismay and appreciation.

“I could not be more devastated to hear your news,” wrote one fan of the restaurant. “If anyone ever asks for the place to eat in Ottawa, it is always your restaurant I recommend.”

“Excited to see you continue your remarkable journey in a new location!” commented Ottawa restaurateur Stephen Beckta.

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