Established in 2001, the wildly popular WORKS Gourmet Burger and Bistro – a full-service neighbourhood bistro is known for its 70 different fresh gourmet burgers, fresh cut fries, stacked onion rings, cool classic shakes and ice cold beer – all 100 per cent Canadian. The company’s growth is impressive – thirty locations in 10 years with 27 across Ontario and 1 each in Calgary, Edmonton and St John’s.
kawarthaNOW.com wanted to know more about the WORKS and their expansion to Peterborough. I tracked down the WORKS CEO Andy O’Brien and was introduced to the Peterborough franchisees Steve Stewart and Heidi Marshall in a recent telecall.
Steve grew up here and is nephew to our former MP Gary Stewart. His move back to Peterborough comes after several years away from home working in the restaurant business – an industry that brought he and Heidi together. They looked at several business opportunities and “were impressed from day one” with The Works.
“Peterborough was one of several hundred “A” locations for the WORKS across Canada” explained Andy. “There were 10 inquiries for the franchise at the Peterborough location. We go to great lengths to find the best franchise partners.”.
In selecting the successful franchisees, the WORKS looks for brand fit, industry experience, a true owner operator commitment, and financial liquidity. Heidi and Steve have over 43 years combined experience in the industry and are looking forward to establishing the Kawarthas as their ‘new’ home. Heidi and Steve are looking forward to becoming involved in the community with the WORKS commitment to charitable support – the choice of which is up to the local franchisees.
The ground floor of the former Trasheteria building at 123 Simcoe Street will be the new home to the WORKS. Known for their patio “garage door” enclosure – The WORKS look will transform the face of Water Street when they “open up that space” facing west toward Peterborough Square.
“The garage doors which provide a patio feel were developed for high density urban locations where on-street patios may not be possible” explained Andy.
The WORKS focuses their brand on the gourmet experience and a family night out. While all WORKS locations are licensed sit-down, Andy emphasized that the locations “maintain reasonable hours and intentionally close earlier” to avoid late night party après-bar atmosphere and situations.
The target opening date for the WORKS in Peterborough is the end of the summer 2012.
Update June 5 2012 – WORKS Burger is planning to open in July. A celebrity burger naming event will be held June 12th.
The company issued the following media release: Peterborough movers and shakers including Councillors Bill Juby and Dean Pappas, and Kurtis Foster, defenseman for the NHL’s Minnesota Wild will don hardhats and name their own WORKS hand-pressed, gourmet burgers at a special “sneak peek event” at the construction site of the WORKS’ Peterborough location. In anticipation of the grand opening, the WORKS’ patty wagon will bring the “live fire grilled” gourmet experience to Peterborough, where VIPs will sample select gourmet burgers and be immortalized in The WORKS’ Peterborough menu by naming their chosen favourites. The restaurant will open to the public in July.