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Coming soon downtown: Something cheesy

Wednesday, March 12, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

Paul Fowler (pictured) is combining his love of poutine and entrepreneurial spirit as he prepares to open a Smoke’s Poutinerie location in Sault Ste. Marie.

Smoke’s (which Fowler and wife Mandy, both Sault natives, will operate) is located at 648 Queen Street, next door to Top Hat Billiards, and opens April 7.

“It started with a love for poutine, always loved it, but it was always in the back of my head that we really need a restaurant that’s poutine specific,” Fowler told SooToday.com. 

“I liked every variety of poutine I tried and I thought ‘you could do so much with this,’ then I found out about Smoke’s through a friend.”

Fowler told us he looked up Smoke’s Poutinerie online in February 2012, contacted Smoke’s founder Ryan Smolkin in Toronto, “and the rest is history.”

Smoke’s Poutinerie, as the name clearly suggests, specializes in poutine.

Smoke’s takes the traditional Quebec poutine of French fries, topped with a gravy-like sauce and cheese curds, to a whole new level. 

Fowler said: “We use fresh-cut fries, we never use frozen fries, we use Quebec cheese curds and signature gravy, special poutine cheese…Ryan asked people from Quebec to help him develop the sauce, and you can’t get it anywhere else.”

“The real kicker is all the different toppings,” Fowler said.

We contacted Smoke’s Poutinerie founder Ryan Smolkin by telephone Wednesday.

You can hear the excitement in Smolkin’s voice even as he describes the toppings.

“There was the traditional classic poutine for years, then we took it from being a side dish into a meal and adding all those toppings.”

“We’ve got (as toppings) pulled pork, double-smoked bacon, caramelized onions, nacho grande poutine with guacamole, salsa sauce, sour cream, hot peppers…we’ve taken poutine to the next level, we own it, we’ve created this whole new category.”

Smolkin launched Smoke’s in downtown Toronto in 2008, and since then, the company has grown dramatically.

There are now over 60 Smoke’s locations (including the soon-to-open Sault location).

Smolkin told us Smoke’s is now expanding into medium-sized communities in Canada (describing the Sault as “a perfect fit”), as well as the U.S.

“We want global domination,” Smolkin laughed, and claimed others are now imitating Smoke’s.

Smoke’s locations are open late, and the Sault location will be no exception, especially for those in the 18 to 25-year-old category.

Locally, Smoke’s will open at 11 a.m. daily, closing at 3 a.m. Thursdays, 4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, closing early on Sundays at 9 p.m., and at 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. 

What of the company’s boast: “Clogging arteries since 2008!”

Smolkin said: “We’re into indulgence, we don’t hide it.”

“We’re being real about it… other restaurants are cutting back on their food, shaving their meat thinner, or skimping on the pepperoni on their pizza, but if you look at our menu, we’ve got ‘Wow-Size.’”

“When people are 18 to 25, which is our core market, they’re out on the town and want some munchies.”

The local Smoke’s Poutinerie, Fowler told us, will employ 15 to 20 people. 

 

 

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Comments
29
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Troy McLaughlin CA 3/12/2014 9:29:20 PM Report

Congratulations Paul!

Best of luck with the new business venture, really looking forward to visiting the restaurant!
arizonagryphon3 3/12/2014 9:38:53 PM Report

Good luck! Wishing you all the best in your new endeavour!
sportsfan17 3/12/2014 9:49:52 PM Report

Always good to have more choice of food downtown! Don't forget about Sizzlers in the West-End, that place is pretty darn good too!
wandering 3/12/2014 9:50:59 PM Report

hope you make the real Quebec poutine with real cheese curl and real poutine sauce..miss the sizzler because of it
itsme29 3/12/2014 9:55:27 PM Report

sizzlers been gone for half a year people so u cant be enjoying it all that often
Jennie11 3/12/2014 10:00:49 PM Report

Perfect after bar snack as well as a perfect location! Good luck!
Prrrrrrr 3/12/2014 11:21:11 PM Report

Awesome...Thank you for providing this service to the Sault!!!! I love poutine!!!!
Lone24 3/12/2014 11:43:07 PM Report

Alright! Another place to go and clog up the arteries.
Rockin 3/12/2014 11:48:19 PM Report

Git' on yer high horse Betsy and haul those curds from Quebec faster Yeehaww!
jojoe71 3/13/2014 12:03:20 AM Report

I'm sure it will be great for the after the bar crowd.As it is no one in the soo can make a half decent poutine . enjoy it while your young. like an old country song lyric.....I want to live fast...love hard...die young...and leave a beautiful memory. :)
eadiecougs 3/13/2014 12:27:33 AM Report

good luck its a uphill battle in this city look at bruno's
Bad Dawg 3/13/2014 12:28:17 AM Report

I will be sure to try everything on the menu. bout time a restaurant made something that gets better during the drive home. a man can have so many soggy pizzas.
leamington 3/13/2014 12:56:17 AM Report

lots of support in the SOO
leamington 3/13/2014 12:59:36 AM Report

648 QUEEN......WOW
scottstewy123 3/13/2014 1:14:03 AM Report

poutine with pulled pork.......hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.THAT SOUND GOOD
iamtc 3/13/2014 1:53:07 AM Report

Will this restaurant be diabetic friendly?
David Poluck 3/13/2014 4:45:13 AM Report

Congratulations and good luck Paul!
1977jessie 3/13/2014 5:01:29 AM Report

CONGRATULATIONS ON THIS NEW - SURE TO BE AMAZINGLY SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS VENTURE - CAN'T WAIT TO INDULGE!
Iverson3k 3/13/2014 6:45:09 AM Report

Are they open late so they get to experience all the downtown drunks on the weekend?
thera 3/13/2014 7:13:08 AM Report

^^^^^^
Read the article.
PS64 3/13/2014 8:31:33 AM Report

Congrats. Good news. I will definitely try it out.
Only bad news it's on Queen instead of Great Northern.
Ski-Dude 3/13/2014 8:42:55 AM Report

Time to start my Guyet!

Sounds great! Congrats and good luck!
sarasota 3/13/2014 9:24:52 AM Report

Nice to have variety. Bannock Restaurant on Queen and Bay in Toronto is a great Canadian comfort food place. Possibly some of their items can appear on Guy's menu. It's always fun to have a great place to grab a bite after movies. Perfect reason to stay on Queen. Best of luck!
MoesTavern 3/13/2014 9:44:52 AM Report

PS64.. it should be on Queen and so should a lot of other places, but that's another topic all together.

Anyways,hopefully the trend continues for new business on Queen.

Best of luck Paul.. you are in a great spot for the late night bar crowd.
superior87 3/13/2014 10:12:40 AM Report

@eadiecougs:

It's only an uphill battle if you don't put enough effort into your product. Bruno's was terrible. I'm sorry if you know the owner or whatever, but I'm sorry it was not good. It's not a surprise it wasn't successful.

But it's like any city - restaurants are volatile businesses.
eadiecougs 3/13/2014 11:56:05 AM Report

superior the market here is tough and the guy has to pay labour, rent hydro.I dont think he can make it on selling poutine and your right bruno's was bad I heard stories about it.I wish the guy all the best but sooner or later the trend ends for poutine do some market research.
eadiecougs 3/13/2014 11:56:20 AM Report

superior the market here is tough and the guy has to pay labour, rent hydro.I dont think he can make it on selling poutine and your right bruno's was bad I heard stories about it.I wish the guy all the best but sooner or later the trend ends for poutine do some market research.
Tag33&1/3rd 3/13/2014 12:41:51 PM Report

Pita Pit gets a lot of after bar crowd down there I presume too?
Good Luck--I plan to try it.
wandering 3/15/2014 9:20:06 PM Report

if it is the real poutine i will be there often...
but most place in town don't do it
Comments
29
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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