ST.ELEANORS – The St. Eleanors Irving Restaurant will serve its last meal on Friday. The family restaurant best known for its tasty and inexpensive breakfasts is closing its doors due to a decline in business.
"We are closing as the restaurant is no longer a profitable business unit," said Couche-Tard communications consultant Isabelle Fafard.
Couche-Tard is a sister company of Circle K which purchased the St. Eleanors Irving from Austin and Ramona Roberts of Kinkora in 2009.
As a past owner of the business for three years, Ramona said she understands Couche-Tard's decision to close down the restaurant.
"It's always disappointing and it will be missed certainly, but if I were in their boat I would be doing the same thing," she said. "A restaurant is a very difficult business."
Currently, the main section of the Irving is a convenience store, with a small restaurant located off the west end. Fafard said the convenience store will expand into the restaurant space "in the near future."
"It is predominantly a convenience store and it has much greater potential as a convenience store due to its size limitations. It will be a better model for them and it will still provide a valuable service," said Ramona.
The Roberts currently own The Bayview Shell in Summerside and Kinkora Esso and Big Dog Convenience.
The St. Eleanors restaurant, gas station and convenience store now operate with about 30 employees. Couche-Tard did not comment on how many jobs would be lost as a result of the restaurant closure.
"You don't want to see anyone unemployed or any loss of services, but I'm sure they will do an excellent job on restoration and it will be better for everyone in the long run," added Ramona.
The St. Eleanors Irving will stop serving meals at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 15.
This is the third restaurant in recent months to shutter its doors. The downtown Burger King went dark on Dec. 31 and First Cup closed earlier this year.