Shine On – meet the nominees – Seabreeze Restaurant & Patio

Saint Andrews – Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, many businesses have had to shut their doors, and many others had to make some drastic changes in how they operate. Take restaurants for example. They were not allowed to have guests in their dining areas, but that didn’t stop some restaurant owners from coming up with new ways to serve their customers. It is this ingenuity that makes the Seabreeze Restaurant in Saint Andrews one of the nominees for The Saint Croix Courier’s Shine On campaign, which is highlighting businesses in Charlotte County that have gone above and beyond during this crisis.

Katheryn Crouch and Glenn Hill, owner/operators at the Seabreeze Restaurant, decided rather than closing their doors all together, they would offer their dining experience to customers in a different way. So, they began offering curbside service, and offered daily specials at reasonable prices.

“Where we weren’t able to offer our full experience for dining, we tailored a menu more for delivery and curbside, trying to give them something different,” said Crouch.

Crouch said they came up with different ideas so they would be able to offer their customers a variety of food choices. She said among the most popular were a few Chinese food specials they did, and she thinks it was so popular because it was the only place in town where people could get Chinese take-out. All of the food was made in-house, and made from scratch.

“I think that kind of set us apart for a bit. It’s still going strong.”

The Seabreeze Restaurant has been open Thursdays through Sundays, and this will continue for now, at least until the next phase as set out by the Province of New Brunswick. Crouch said they do a nice, family night Sunday special, offering such fares as roast turkey dinners, southern fried chicken, and lasagna. They wanted to be able to focus on the family aspect due to the fact that people were asked to isolate indoors for the past several weeks.

Crouch and her husband had to close the dining room, and for now, it will remain closed until they see how this phase and the next one play out. They have a very small, intimate dining room that only holds three tables, so they are unable to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

“We’re just waiting to see how the rest of this phase goes, and the next one being introduced so we’ll look at it again. For now, we’re going to continue with this service that we offer,” said Crouch.

For now, the couple is concentrating on their biggest strength, which at the moment is the curbside delivery. Crouch said people pull up to the front of the building and let her or her husband takes the orders out to the people who are waiting. All orders are taken over the telephone, and there is no physical contact between them and their customers.

“I think people feel it’s pretty safe and secure with the safety aspect of it all.”

Crouch said they are sincerely grateful to everyone who nominated them for the Shine On award, especially since they just celebrated their first year of business. She said there have been some “discouraging days and sleepless nights”, but they feel they have been able to ensure that they remained open and that their loyal clients were able to enjoy delicious, home-made meals.

“Having this town support like this, just the nomination alone speaks volumes,” said Crouch. “We’ve really tried to create a personal connection with the folks in town. We’re very surprised, and pleasantly surprised. Thank you.”

sarigreen@stcroixcourier.ca