Six months ago, the scene outside of 2444 Parkedale Avenue was bleak. At that time, people were locked out of the restaurant that operated at the site and wondering about their paycheques.
On Wednesday, the scene had changed dramatically. People lined up for their turn to get inside the building, where there was the potential for employment.
The Barley Mow, a chain restaurant and pub that will have its grand opening in the old Santa Fe Southwestern Grill building on January 30, held a job fair yesterday, attracting a high number of job-seekers.
The Santa Fe operated out of the Parkedale Avenue building until July 2012 when it suddenly closed, costing 25 workers their jobs. The new Barley Mow pub expects to hire about 35 people.
Steve Dodd, the pub's general manager, said around 100 people showed up to the job fair, with more applicants expected to arrive at the pub today and on Friday.
“Ultimately, people with experience will get looked at first,” he said of the hiring process.
“But, in part-time positions, anyone with enthusiasm, excitement and willingness to learn will be looked at.”
The majority of people lined up to meet with Dodd at the job fair yesterday said they were hoping for a new opportunity in a somewhat discouraging local job market.
“It's especially hard to find a job in Brockville, where mostly everything is minimum wage,” said Jason Duguay.
“Since Christmas, I've handed out 50 or 60 resumes and haven't had one call back.”
Duguay’s sentiments about the opportunities for employment in Brockville were well understood by others standing in line at the job fair.
“There are no jobs in Brockville,” said Jessee Moore.
“Any time there is a job opening, you want to get there as soon as possible.”
Dodd said he was excited to get the hiring process completed, so staff could be trained over the next two weeks.
The Barley Mow acquired the Santa Fe building in September. It is in a chain of restaurants that began in Ottawa in 1994.
Dodd said he sees the pub having staying power in the Brockville region.
“This is our first venture outside of the national capital region,” Dodd said.
“I moved here from Ottawa for it. That shows my commitment to the community.”
MOW (LIKE WOW)
OR MOW (LIKE MO)?
The Barley Mow takes its name from the term used to describe a stack of cultivated and harvested barley, which is then used to make beer. The word “Mow” is pronounced to rhyme with “Wow.”