Big changes ahead for Charlottetown's restaurant scene

Some big changes are on the horizon for Charlottetown's food scene as a new restaurant prepares to open while others have announced they will be shuttering their doors. 

Vegan restaurant My Plum, My Duck on University Avenue and Mavor's, located at the Confederation Centre of the Arts, have both announced that they will be closing down.

My Plum, My Duck was in business for nearly three years.

"We thought it was unique enough because it was a vegan restaurant but ... maybe the community is not as big here or it's still too new, that's a possibility," said Sarah Forrester Wendt, chef and owner of the restaurant. 

Tom Steepe/CBC

The decision to close Mavor's was difficult, said Confederation Centre of the Arts CEO Steve Bellamy. 

"Everything's been tried from renovation, menu changes, different approaches to the market, different ways about talking about the restaurant, different promotional efforts and what we see consistently … is the challenge of the location," he said. 

"A bit downstairs from the street and perhaps due to the long periods of time between the events here at the centre, we have just been unable to compete in that marketplace."

Alternate food options

While Mavor's will be closing, Bellamy said the centre will still be looking to ensure that alternate food options will be available for patrons.  

"We're looking forward to actually partnering with the restaurants that do exist in the downtown area, partnering with the food service providers that we can perhaps bundle those experiences with shows instead of our own," he said. 

Tom Steepe/CBC

Although some restaurants have decided to close, others are moving into the city. 

Popular North Rustico establishment Blue Mussel Café will be opening a restaurant and inn called Slaymaker and Nichols on Fitzroy Street. 

'Tavern-style'

Owner Steve Murphy said the new restaurant and inn will be "tavern-style," and the menu will depart from its parent location's seafood cuisine.

Tom Steepe/CBC

He said one of the main reasons for the new restaurant is Blue Mussel Café's success with both Islanders and visitors. It's also a strategy to retain his staff year-round. 

"Staffing at Blue Mussel is a challenge and our thought is, if we can keep this core group together and the main place to do that is in Charlottetown for us. It's just where we live and that's where we want to have our staff," he said.

Bellamy said Mavor's last day of operation will be Dec. 21.

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