Some people may go there every day, and others may have overlooked it. No matter how little or how much you know about the Tea Room, I think it is well worth a visit. Owned by Danny and Bonnie McInnis, the Myers Tea Room located on Main Street in Antigonish, is the small town restaurant everyone needs in their life. Not just a family owned establishment, it has been passed on through two generations! Originally, Bonnies’ mother, Kaye, owned it with her husband Chester. It was Bonnie who recalls that her mother came up with the name the Tea Room. She felt it was unique, and fitting of the space they would then turn into their well-loved restaurant.
Now at Myer’s Tea Room, you can usually find Debbie, their longtime waitress who provides quick service and is always good for a laugh. Lynn, is also a newer addition to the Tea Room family, and you can find her there Danny can also be found in the back on most Days, cooking up a storm – that is of course when he is not baking! When asked where he learned his baking skills, Danny attributes that knowledge to another blast from the past – a little business located on the corner of Main and Hawthorne, known then as Adam’s Bakery. Danny managed the Bakery until he moved on to the Tea Room. Bonnie worked at the Philatelic Centre. Upon her retirement in 2017, you can now often find her at the Tea Room alongside Danny.
Bonnie and Danny are also well known in the community. Bonnie grew up in Antigonish and even attended St.FX herself, so the community is really the place she calls home. In July they were kind enough to create a dessert for the Annual L’Arche Dessert Fundraiser, an event that raises money for the L’Arche community. Bonnie notes that she feels CACL, and L’Arche are important for our community as they not only provide community support, but are also features of the community themselves. They have participated in this fundraiser since it began, and have no intention of stopping as long as they are welcomed. She called the Fundraiser ‘close to her heart’, and is glad she can be involved.
“Nellie Cypher used to look after the ‘Saddle Club’ since the 1980’s. About 2005, she asked us if we were willing to take over. Of course, as you know we said yes, and now every year when the exhibition comes to town, you can find us there. It is a family project, not associated with the business. We felt it was a good way to not only help our kids understand the value of hard work, and make a little cash in the Summer, but also a good way for us to help out our community.”
While at the Exhibition next time, I can only suggest one thing to you all – changed my life forever – BREAKFAST POUTINE. What could be more Canadian? Bacon, IN poutine!! Of course, the breakfast poutine is so much more than bacon on poutine. Danny and Bonnie have elevated this recipe so it is extra delish. The poutine consists of hash browns, bacon, sausage, AND a magnificent helping of hollandaise sauce. This recipe is sure to make you feel at home. Their family project is always a feature at the exhibition, where families of participants can come in and get a hearty meal. They also have regulars, people who have volunteered or worked at the exhibition for years, and can always be counted on to order the classic Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner.
At the Mainstreet location however, Myer’s Tea Room offers an amazing fish and chips. Made with Haddock, this fish and chip is battered and cooked to golden perfection, with crispy fries on the side ----- yummm, my mouth is watering just thinking about this. They say that their Western Sandwich tends to be popular with the regulars as well! I personally am in love with their oatcakes, which are just the perfect amount of sweet. Danny says that he strives to make sweet options available at the tearoom for the individual, but that he does on occasion take orders for full pies and cinnamon rolls as long as he has at least a days’ notice to do so.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the couple says that they shut down the Tea Room, and took the time to clean the restaurant completely. Slowly but surely, they developed plans to reopen their doors to the public. Now that they are reopen, they have elevated their cleaning measures, and are back to providing customers with the service everyone missed so much. They offer takeout, but you are also welcome to have a sit-down meal provided distancing measures are followed. So pop in, grab a slice of homemade pie, or take a seat and enjoy a plate of homemade fish and chips. Bonnie and Danny’s friendly faces will always be there to say hello for the foreseeable future.