For most of her career, Karen Fazzari has done things by the book and with the dawn of 2019 she is opening an exciting new chapter in her life story.
“I sold mutual funds then I did bookkeeping and accounting,” said Fazzari. “I have done the financial things like that but it has been my dream for more than 20 years to have a place like this.”
Fazzari and her partner Glenn Millar just opened the doors of Ledger’s Tap & Grill on Scottsdale Drive.
“It’s a sports bar, for lack of a better term,” said Fazzari. “We do breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week.”
Mixing food, beer and sports is a winning combination for Millar.
“We have six large-screen TVs, two pool tables and 12 taps,” said Millar. “We serve jumbo chicken wings, four types of burgers, quesadillas, nachos - basic bar grub food.”
Fazzari and Millar grew up in Guelph. She is the only daughter of two children born to Frank and Mary Fazzari and he is the only son of four children born to Des and Cathy Millar.
Millar and Fazzari have known each other for a long time but they took their friendship to another level two-and-a-half years ago when Fazzari was tending bar at Millar’s favourite watering hole, Squirrel Tooth Alice.
“He came in with Desi for his afternoon beer and as they were leaving I was coming in for the night shift,” said Fazzari. “We were just sitting around the bar and Glenn made me laugh like I’d never laughed.”
They’ve been together ever since and Fazzari was looking to take their partnership to yet another level.
“She started this,” said Millar. “I wasn’t part of it at the start. She tried to purchase another bar.”
The other bar Fazzari was looking at was Squirrel Tooth Alice that had closed the previous summer.
“It all fell through so I saw this across the street,” said Fazzari. “It was vacant. I met the landlord, loved him. He had all the equipment for us and then we just dove in.”
They consulted with Guelph chef Tim Halley to develop the menu.
“Tim has been with us since day one,” said Millar. “He helped us design the kitchen.”
The name Ledger’s is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Fazzari’s experience as a bookkeeper.
“My friend’s husband actually thought of it,” said Fazzari with a grin. “I stole it from him.”
Their collective goal is to establish a place where they would like to go, a place where everyone feels welcome.
“We want people to feel comfortable here,” said Fazzari. “We want it to be successful of course but we want people to consider it a second home where they can come to relax and have a beer after work.”
So far, accountant jokes aside, things have been adding up exactly as she hoped.“The landlords Ken and Lucy Fish are just extraordinary people,” said Fazzari. “The crews, the workmen, the contractors, they’ve all been fantastic. We couldn’t have found a better group. I’m living the dream.”