Seven months after opening a restaurant in Sauble Beach, a group of friends decided to do it again … this time in Guelph, and with a “completely different” slate of offerings.
Smashies Smashburgers and Fries opened at 23 Quebec St. on Friday, near the Baker Street intersection.
“All of us have a lot of creative energy and we thought it was a good time, oddly enough during this pandemic … to try something new,” said Evan Baulch, who owns the restaurant along with his wife Emma and friends Freddy and Katie Laliberte. “It seems to be working pretty well.”
Evan and Freddy are long-time friends who have worked managing and opening several restaurants. Emma first came to Guelph for university and met Evan at one of the restaurants where he worked.
About four years ago, when it came time to raise a family, the Baulches moved to Guelph.
“We love Guelph,” Evan said. “We love downtown Guelph. We think there’s a great revival happening. It’s an exciting community to be part of.”
He also believes downtown is a great spot for Smashies to make an impact.
“When you come and have a burger and fries, you’re definitely going to want to come back,” Evan said. “My partner Fred is an incredible chef and makes insanely delicious and craveable food.”
Their specialty, not surprisingly, is a smashburger with hand-cut fries. The “smash” comes from compressing Canadian beef patties on a hot griddle, which is then seasoned and dressed with a special sauce before being served on a toasted Martin’s potato roll.
Since opening, the public response has been “overwhelming” and “super positive,” Evan said on Saturday afternoon.
“We had a really incredible first night and so far today has been wildly busy. We’re really happy and we’re really grateful.”
Smashies is open from noon to 8 p.m. on Wednesday through Sunday each week.
The friends opened their first restaurant together, Heydays at The June Motel in Sauble Beach, in July.
“Heydays is more focused on an upscale experience with a beach comfort twist. … With Smashies, we want to give really, really craveable food to the masses,” Evan said of the different approaches.
For more information about Smashies, visit smashiesguelph.ca.