OLIVER & BONACINI RESTAURANTS TO BECOME FOODSERVICE PROVIDER AT MUSKOKA'S HISTORIC WINDERMERE HOUSE

O&B offerings at Windermere House will include:
casual and fine dining,
bar lounge,
conference services,
and wedding and event catering

TORONTO, Feb. 9 /CNW/ - When the doors open this May at the landmark Windermere House resort on beautiful Lake Rosseau for its 142nd season, cottagers and cottage country visitors will have some exciting new dining options to consider.

Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants (O&B), one of Canada's leading fine dining restaurant and event management companies, will assume operations of all Windermere House restaurant and food services.   Included will be an upscale dining room (Rosseau Grill), a casual eatery (Windermere Pub & Patio), a bar lounge (P.J.'s Lobby Bar), a Japanese style restaurant serving sushi on the resort's grand verandah and a full service conference centre. 

Windermere House, the iconic Victorian-style resort located on the shores of prestigious Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, is owned by Paul Jeffery, Founder and Past Chairman of Kelsey's International Inc. The resort underwent a stunning transformation in 2007.  In 2009, The Cottages at Windermere House were introduced - Lake Rosseau's only luxury fractional ownership cottages.

Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants operates a portfolio of unique, upscale restaurants and event spaces in Ontario, and is owned by entrepreneurs Peter Oliver and Michael Bonacini. 

In addition to providing outstanding quality food and dining to the guests of Windermere House, Oliver & Bonacini intends to make the historic resort one of the most compelling and competitive conference and event destinations in the province.  In recent years, O&B has aggressively expanded its portfolio of event and catering facilities, which now includes TIFF Bell Lightbox, the Toronto Board of Trade and the Westin Trillium House, Blue Mountain.  Now O&B can also provide stylish, upscale weddings and full service corporate retreats on the shores of one of the most prestigious lakes in cottage country.

Windermere House has enjoyed a reputation of refinement and tradition since it first started welcoming guests in 1870.  The former structure was destroyed by fire in 1996 during filming of the Hollywood movie The Long Kiss Goodnight.   The resort was reopened in 1997 after being rebuilt to the original design. In 2007, it was purchased by Paul Jeffery, under whose direction Windermere House was extensively renovated, restoring it to its former Victorian grandeur and introducing many modern conveniences.  The renovations combined the resort's tradition and charm with state-of-the-art accommodations and facilities. Now working with O&B, the focus is on bringing a new standard of hospitality to the Muskoka region, making Windermere House the preferred destination for vacationers and cottagers alike. 

What can Windermere House guests expect to find on the menu?  "We've only just begun our creative work," says Chef Michael Bonacini, partner, Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants.  "Our team is very excited about the notion of creating some really unique cottage country cuisine.  We're foreseeing lots of great Canadian comfort food to satisfy all those big, fresh air appetites, but we also want to showcase Oliver & Bonacini's chef-driven style.  The food and wine at Windermere House weddings will be absolutely exceptional!"

Owner Paul Jeffery and President Stanley Goodman heartily agree.  "Since we have been in the foodservice and hospitality industries for many years, we understand the very high standards the Oliver & Bonacini team will bring to Windermere House," says President Stanley Goodman. "We couldn't be more excited about this announcement, and we feel Oliver & Bonacini - who have standards second to none in Canada - will help complete the extraordinary experience visitors to Windermere House can enjoy".

About Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants
Oliver & Bonacini is recognized as one of Canada's leading fine dining restaurant and event management companies. Operations include à la carte dining, quick service, catering, group dining and special events. 

Unique concept restaurants include Canoe, Jump, Auberge du Pommier, Biff's Bistro, Luma, and O&B Canteen.  The company also operates a midrange casual dining concept, Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill, with locations in Toronto, Blue Mountain, Oakville and Waterloo.  Oliver & Bonacini Events, the company's private dining division, manages a number of large scale event facilities, including Malaparte at TIFF Bell Lightbox, City Ballroom at Toronto Board of Trade, and conference facilities at the Westin Trillium House in Blue Mountain. 

Most recently, Oliver & Bonacini announced its partnership with The Bay and Compass Group Canada to manage all restaurants and foodservices at The Bay, focusing on The Bay Queen Street flagship store in Toronto and flagship stores across Canada.  Oliver & Bonacini will also renovate the historic Arcadian Court at the Queen Street location, with the addition of a modern conference center.

Oliver & Bonacini employs over 900 team members and is recognized for its first rate training and development.  The company credits its success to the development of a strong corporate culture, where excellence of food quality and service are valued above all else.

About Windermere House
Windermere House is considered to be the oldest hotel in Canada, and was one of the original grand lakefront resorts in Muskoka.  The 57-room resort currently operates on a seasonal basis, from mid May until Canadian Thanksgiving.  On-site facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, four dining facilities, tennis courts and function space for up to 150 people.  A sandy beach, boat docks and rentals, and the classic Windermere Golf and Country Club are all immediately adjacent to the resort. The new (2009) Cottages at Windermere House features an exclusive enclave of 12, luxurious 3-bedroom fractional ownership waterfront cottages.

Windermere House holds the prestigious "Four Star" rating from Canada Select, the national rating agency of the Canadian hospitality industry. Four Star ratings are assigned to "exceptional properties offering extensive or outstanding facilities and services."

The resort is owned by Paul Jeffery, best known as Founder and Past Chairman of Kelsey's International Inc., the parent company of Kelsey's Restaurants and Montana's Cookhouse and the Eastern Canada franchise holder for Outback Restaurants. He sold Kelsey's International to Cara Foods in 2002 to pursue other interests. Mr. Jeffery purchased Windermere House in 2007.

The President is Stanley Goodman.  Prior to joining Windermere House in 2008, he served as Joint Venture Partner and Director for Outback Steakhouses in Eastern Canada for 12 years.

Jeffery and Goodman have worked together for almost two decades

SOURCE Oliver

For further information:

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Theresa Suraci, Director, Marketing & Communications, Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants
+1 416.485.8047 X 228 - theresa.suraci@oliverbonacini.com - @oliver_bonacini

Sue Nickason, Marketing Consultant for Windermere House
+1 705.431.5758 - sue.nickason@rogers.com

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