CONSTANCE BAY – The Point Dining Lounge has been open one day during the COVID-19 pandemic – just long enough to raise a jar-full of money for the West Carleton Food Access Centre.
The popular Constance Bay hangout chose to shut its doors during the pandemic. The restaurant hasn’t done take-out for more than 20 years owner Rick Charlebois told West Carleton Online on Easter Sunday (April 12) – since they last sold pizza. They closed their doors following Wing Night on Wednesday, March 11.
“It’s given me a chance to renovate,” Rick said.
He’s refinished the floor and the bar.
“You’ll be able to slide a beer all the way down now,” one patron waiting for a turkey dinner remarked.
But Rick and his Wife Mary decided to open their doors on Easter Sunday. If only to raise much needed money for the West Carleton Food Access Centre (WCFAC) with a fundraising take-out dinner.
“My wife and I were talking last week,” Rick said. “Why don’t we do something for the community? We agreed on this.”
‘This’ was an Easter dinner – turkey, ham, all the fixings and a few chocolate Easter eggs thrown in for good measure. The cost of the take-out only meal was a donation to the WCFAC.
They had about 60 lbs. of turkey and 15 lbs. of ham.
“Almost through it all already,” Rick said at 4:17 p.m. – a little more than an hour after the take-out dinner event started. “I’m going to run out.”
Rick said he and his staff expected to get an average of $10 per meal.
“It’s more like $20,” he said.
By the end of the day, The Point raised $1,138.35 for the WCFAC.
Rick and Mary, lifelong Constance Bay residents, have owned The Point for 32 years. The Point has been around in Constance Bay since 1932, when it was a grocery store.
“Some of the oldtimers still call it The Point Grocery,” Rick said. “I’ve been here my whole life. This (Buckham’s Bay) was my grandfather’s camp.”
And in all the time the Charlebois have owned The Point, they have given back to their community.
For 28 years The Point hosted a fundraiser for muscular dystrophy on St. Patrick’s Day selling shamrocks. They held that fundraiser for two years after the society officially stopped hosting the national fundraiser.
“It helped decorate the place and was something different,” Rick said.
They host a fundraiser during the Grey Cup and the Superbowl. During the Santa Day in the Bay Santa Claus Parade, Rick and Mary give out hot chocolate to those in the parade and those watching.
“It doesn’t cost much to do things like that,” Rick said.
But what does cost money is being closed for an extended period of time such as many businesses have had to do during the pandemic.
While the Charlebois have decided to remain closed during the pandemic, they are thinking about the future.
“If this prolongs, we might have to do a take-out, maybe on Wing Night, but we’ll see,” Rick said.