Such was the rush when Hook, Line & Sinker “quietly” opened its doors Jan. 25, the restyled Haliburton eatery ran out of food after only four days of service.
Located on Highland Street in the spot that once housed Baked and Battered, the new restaurant has been a major hit with locals, say owners Veronica VanLeeuwen and Taylor Pridham. Since purchasing the site from Craig Gordon and Colby Marcellus in the fall of 2021, the mother-son duo has overseen a complete transformation of the space.
While key features such as the fireplace, outdoor patio and takeout window have been mainstained, there have been several additions. A new rectangular bar sits at the heart of the restaurant, while garage-style doors have been installed beside the front entrance, paving the way for indoor open-air eating come summer.
A stylish, bright interior gives off a welcoming vibe. A map of Haliburton County sprawls across one of the walls.
“We wanted to create a cozy feeling, somewhere people would feel comfortable and at home,” Van Leeuwen said. “The building has a lot of history for a lot of people, so we didn’t want to lose that. The idea was to keep the community feel of the space, while adding a bit of modern splash.”
“It’s been a big transformation,” Pridham added.
And that doesn’t just go for cosmetics. Behind the-scenes, the restaurant has gone from having two kitchens to one. The bakery is no more, paving the way for a new menu featuring some old favourites, as well as popular new additions.
Chef Doug Money was brought in to help facilitate the change. He has more than 20 years industry experience, the pas six in Haliburton County as a sous chef at Sir Sam’s Ski/Ride.
“We wanted to make sure there was a little something for everyone on our menu – we have the fish and chips, but we’ve also added a gluten-free option, which is something nobody else has (around here). We’ve got fish tacos, pasta dishes such as chicken alfredo, a new steak stack – good mood food that brings a smile to people’s faces.” Money said.
Living in the community permanently since 2021, after cottaging on a property on Little Redstone Lake for 15 years, the pair say they have fallen for Haliburton County hook, line and sinker – which was the inspiration behind the name.
The new restaurant is open five-days a week – from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information visit facebook.com/Thehookhaliburotn.