There’s nothing fishy about the new management at Fancy’s and they’re hoping to reel in some old clientele to go along with the new ones.
For more than 35 years, Fancy’s Fish and Chips has been dishing up at the corner of St. Vincent Street and Bell Farm Road.
Tom and Ann Fancy started the restaurant in 1983 at 5 Bell Farm Rd., and when Tom passed away 25 years ago, Ann ran it herself. Last year, she handed the reins over to new ownership, but not a new face.
New owner Mike Chanko has been working at Fancy’s for 20 years, starting out as a dishwasher and moving on to cook. He took over the establishment last year.
Chanko told BarrieToday that, while he isn’t a Fancy by birth, he has been with the family business for so long it feels like it.
“I’m not part of the family, but working with them for 20 years it seemed only natural if someone was going to run it, it should be someone close to them,” said Chanko.
Fancy’s focuses on fresh fish and fries, but has a menu full of non-seafood items as well, such as steaks, sandwiches and salads.
“No doubt, our specialty and crowd favourite is the halibut, but we really do have something for everyone,” said Chanko. “Our haddock and salmon are popular, but we have poutine, breakfast meals and anything else you may want.”
One of the struggles Chanko has faced with taking over is customers who may have turned away in years gone by and wanting to get them back.
At one time, Fancy’s was one of the only places in the area, but now they are one of many on their road, it made Chanko think outside the box.
“It (Fancy’s) was maybe neglected for a little while, but I’ve fixed it up and have it looking new,” he said. “We’ve got the space for special nights and we had a comedy night in November, which went well and we’ll start doing more nights as well to get people coming in.”
On New Year’s Eve, Fancy’s will have a big karaoke night, which will happen every other month afterwards. The event starts at 8 p.m. and goes until after the clock strikes midnight.
“We just wanted to create some buzz on New Year’s Eve and also let people know that we are still here and still a great option for any meal and gathering," Chanko said.
For a full menu and events, check out Fancy’s website.