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A Thymely change of scenery for Rosetta

Thursday, January 23, 2014   by: Kenneth Armstrong

Look out the windows which surround the Iron Club restaurant on a sunny afternoon and you may not believe you are only a few minutes from downtown.

On this particular day a pair of eagles perch overhead in a large tree, the snow leading to the St. Mary’s river is filled with animal tracks belonging to foxes, chipmunks and the like. 

It’s a dramatic change of scenery for Rosetta Sicoli who, for almost 30 years, had been the driving force behind A Thymely Manner in downtown Sault Ste. Marie.

The main view out their front door there was the Algoma District School Board building across Albert Street.

“You know how they say when God closes a door he opens a window? Well my new window has a view of the river” Rosetta says, smiling.

The change of scenery wasn’t a decision she took lightly. 

When asked about closing A Thymely Manner, known to many as simply “Thymely”  Rosetta was quick to correct, “Retired, not closed”.

That distinction means a lot to her, a way to close that chapter of her life while still writing the rest of her book.

That chapter began in 1984, when Rosetta and her mother Maria opened the restaurant on Albert Street.

Rosetta said, “A lot of people called it fine dining, but I think it was just good food.”

It didn’t take long for A Thymely Manner to be noticed, the Globe and Mail wrote a favourable review about 2 years after they opened. 

Reviews in Flare Magazine, Where to Eat Canada and many more followed throughout the life of the restaurant.

Although the food critics, television personalities and celebrities who came through the doors were memorable, the biggest impact on Rosetta were her regular customers.

Some came weekly or monthly, while others would come once a year for an anniversary or birthday.

To Rosetta they all were special, “Do you know how many milestones are there?”

“I almost feel like a movie star, you know when you get the award and say you can’t believe that I’m getting an award for doing something I enjoy doing, that’s how it felt,” she adds.

Rosetta and Maria added Chef Jen Healey to the Thymely family about 13 years ago, and when Rosetta’s mother retired the two of them carried on.

The original plan was for Rosetta to retire the restaurant when her mother retired, but with Healey on board she was able to keep Thymely Manner viable.

Rosetta handed the reigns of Thymely over to Healey when the Iron Club opened last summer, but now Healey is moving on to other opportunities.

“The chain has been broken, it’s time for us to retire,” said Rosetta, referring to the closure of the restaurant.

But every end is a new beginning, and the closing of A Thymely Manner means that Rosetta can concentrate on the Iron Club.

It has also allowed her to move over some favourite menu items, like her risottos, to the Iron Club.

The building is nestled between Queen Street and the St. Mary’s river and was built in 1919 and needed extensive renovations before opening.

“I gave them a list of the things that I wanted or had to have in order for me to put my name to it because I felt bad that such a beautiful, beautiful piece of property on the most gorgeous part of the river was never utilized,” says Rosetta.

Something that one of her customers recently said to Rosetta put the move into perspective, “Thymely isn’t a place, it’s where you are and the standard you’ve created.”

For another in-depth interview with Rosetta,please click here

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MikeQ 1/23/2014 1:24:04 PM Report

My wife and I have been going here for our anniversary every year since we got married, it'll be sad to see it closed, but we're happy we had so many nice memories there. Happy Retirement!
learningaswego 1/23/2014 1:55:54 PM Report

I think you can now go to the Iron Club, for a similar "Rosetta experience", no?

Jen Healey is an awesome chef, so hope to hear where she lands, and hope is in the Soo.
Riverpilot 1/23/2014 2:07:45 PM Report

Rosetta always worked hard to please everyone and the old Thymely Manor will be greatly missed. I think her new venture and location will aspire to be even more of a unique experience. See the interview recently posted on local2.ca with Jasmyn Rowley.....Great job Rosetta and good luck at your new home on the riverfront!
flyhawk25 1/23/2014 2:21:46 PM Report

As a member of the Sault Golf Course for over twenty years I can attest to the fact that the property is indeed amazing but needed a retro badly.
Now with Rosetta's touch and menu and the cooperation of the Bd. of Directors the place is a jewel open to all of the city.
Finally - great food and ambiance on our waterfront.
Well done!
amshld 1/23/2014 3:53:31 PM Report

I was there for lunch today..it was great..had the sun beaming on our table..Rosetta is a wonderful wonderful woman..she has known our family for years..Glad to see her today and thank you Mike Q..she does pay her bills ...there are idiots who think she owes them money???
SooToday Moderator 1/23/2014 5:12:08 PM Report

Please don`t feed the trolls by responding to them. Just report the post so we can remove it.

Once others start to answer, we have to delete all references to the original comment that we removed or the comments don`t make sense to anyone else that missed the original post.

Thanking you in advance!
A.S. 1/23/2014 10:58:51 PM Report

Loved Thymley a lot. Was our restaurant of choice for all special occasions. However, I am a little frustrated. Was given a large gift certificate for Christmas and never was able to use it. Would have been nice to have a little bit of notice that it was going to close.
grandmajill 1/23/2014 11:04:25 PM Report

A.S.
Your gift certificate can be redeemed either at The iron Club rest or at A Thymely Affair.
Tag33&1/3rd 1/24/2014 9:34:15 PM Report

Oh thanks I get it!
Comments
9
Please sign in to post a response
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. Keep discussions civil and on topic. Refrain from obscenity and don't post anything that your grandmother would be ashamed to read. Those who do not abide by these guidelines will have their membership revoked without notice. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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