By MAGGIE M, Wedgee-in-Chief, Editor, the wedge.LIVE 🖤 TO SHARE story just click icons at story’s end
I always loved the name of this restaurant in Addison, halfway between Smiths Falls and Brockville on Highway 29. Unfortunately, I never got to enjoy its fare. My experience was purely visceral.
This hamlet has more grain elevators per capita than any place in the wedge. Visiting farmers clearly did not yield a sizeable patronage for Calamity Jane’s “in the middle of nowhere.”
The restaurant brought forward memories of actress Doris Day in the role of the real-life Western legend, Martha Jane Burke. This American “frontierswoman” passed away in 1903 in North Dakota. Her life is memorialized on account of her daring yet charitable character. Her nickname says a lot about her tactics with those who crossed her.
The property and former restaurant has been out of operation for awhile. Each time I drove by, I slowed to spot a sign of life.
The 1850 two-storey limestone property went under “Hot” Power of Sale and sold under the hammer for $65,000 last January 20th. Jim Hands Auctions oversaw the transition from its owners–not the septuagenarian couple who formerly owned and ran the restaurant. It is a sad story.
What does the new owner, Gerald Best, a retired contractor, have in store? “I’m not going to take the sign down,” Best says. “I’m going to make it more attractive, do a few repairs and sell it.”
Best who also owns a sand and gravel business in Lansdowne will, “bring it back to life.”
People share their memories to the wedge about this restaurant. They are always glowing.
There is no doubt that when a restaurant is “off the beat and path,” extraordinary marketing is required. It must become a “destination location” i.e. more than foodservice for survival–even when the food is excellent. Calamity Jane’s has history, museum value and a brand name that presents prospects.
Best is adding a parking lot for future customers. Now that’s faith.
This is a perfect launch to our homes and real estate content. Enjoy the gallery of the property.