At their new patio and tap room, Northern Superior Brewing is bringing what it calls a Taste of Sault Ste. Marie to their customers.
Co-owners Jeff DiCorpo and Tim Lukenda have partnered with over 40 local restaurants in the Sault and area, and are now providing customers at their patio with fresh food from a wide variety of menus. They developed the idea as a way to minimize the competition with their restaurant partners during COVID times.
As part of the taste of the Sault program, the brewery hosts a “feature” restaurant of the day, where customers can order from the local restaurant’s menu, and the tap room will send their personal delivery driver to pick up the food and bring it back to the patio.
Food wait times average about 20-30 minutes, which Northern Superior points out is often no different than dining in the restaurant itself.
“We are able to do that by working with our partners in a way that they prioritize our orders so that we can be quick in bringing the meals back to our place,” Lukenda said. "Customers also have the option of purchasing in-house appetizers, including pretzels with beer cheese, and tortilla chips and queso."
The patio’s delivery service is offered with a convenience fee of $10 for the table (not per individual). The feature restaurants of the week are posted each Monday on Northern Superior Brewing’s Instagram and Facebook pages.
“During COVID, all of the local restaurants have gotten really great at providing takeout food service. We thought it would work well to piggyback on that and to provide more takeout business for our partners,” said Lukenda. “The idea is that by showcasing our partners, it would be a win-win for both our customers and our restaurant partners.”
During normal times, both owners travel frequently to Southern Ontario, and they wanted to bring the relaxed atmosphere of outdoor dining that you get in larger cities, such as Toronto, and offer something new and exciting for the Soo. People of all ages, adults and children, as well as furry friends, are welcome to be part of the patio.
As COVID restrictions are lifted and the Soo gets more visitors passing through, Lukenda highlights that their patio is something both locals and visitors can enjoy.
The co-owners are also preparing to extend their patio season into the fall, as they have a few fire pits and heaters, which will allow the patio to be utilized for longer.
Their rotation of over 40 feature restaurants will continue into the colder months in the indoor part of the tap room. They plan to continue the relaxing atmosphere with live music, board game nights, and other activities of the like that will allow people to come and enjoy their tap room.
Another local brewery, Outspoken, has also been finding ways to support local restaurants.
Aside from their three-year partnership with Shabby Motley, they offer a 10 per cent discount for any customers who order from East Street Pizza while at the brewery.
Plans are in the works for a Sunday Sizzle where East Street Pizza will cook sausages (etc.) on Outspoken’s patio. On site, Outspoken Brewery also sells Cornucopia Popcorn from a local popcorn crafter and nuts from the newly opened local business Your Favourite Nut Company.
Breanna Hamilton is an English/Political Science student at Algoma University who is taking part in a placement at SooToday