Creating A Space to Gather
What makes a smalltown if it’s not the community? While you can certainly still find “your people” in the city, the main reason people choose to stay in or move to a smalltown is because it’s a place that you can belong to, with people that you know; it’s the place where you don’t just smile at the people you pass on the street, but stop to catch up with them, because they’re all your friends and neighbours – they’re all your people.
This is part of the reason that Chris and Parul went into business in Grand Valley. Although they only moved to the area as a family in 2016, Chris’s parents have lived there for 25 years. Grand Valley has always felt like “his” town, and it was his dream to run not just any restaurant, but a restaurant on Main Street in Grand Valley. A dream that came true in January of this year when they purchased and took over the Millcreek Pub.
In June, they officially rebranded and The Creek Pub & Eatery was born. While they did want to honour the history of the place and the pub that existed before them, they also wanted to play with the menu, offering locals and visitors alike something different from “what’s always been” before. They especially wanted to offer a more diverse menu to provide more flavours to the growing community.
While the restaurant had always been Chris’s passion, Parul was already involved in the industry, previously running a small side catering business and it was from this background that she has pulled upon when helping play with the menu. Creating new dishes to serve is one of her favourite aspects of being involved in the business, and being Indian herself, she knew it was important to include dishes from her own culture on the menu. One of the first things they were asked by those in the know upon taking over the restaurant was when her Butter Chicken recipe would be making an appearance. Rest assured, it is now not only on the menu but has also been incorporated into several other dishes, including flatbread and poutine.
It’s not just “foodies” who will find something exciting on The Creek’s new menu. Anyone who craves a good drink after work, or one on the patio during a sunny afternoon will be pleased with the selection. Aside from their talented bartenders who will make you a mixed drink, they have 10 taps to choose from including a variety of beers, ciders and teas. While seven of their taps carry standard favourites all year round, the remaining three rotate seasonally. So, be sure to always ask what’s available so that you don’t miss out on your new favourite.
Really, it’s about being a gathering place for The Creek Pub & Eatery. Anyone who has lived the smalltown life knows the biggest drawback is that it can be difficult to find ways to spend your time. This is why The Creek offers a wide variety of events and activities, so that there is always something for everyone to do, somewhere for everyone to come to enjoy. In addition to live music, paint nights for kids and regular ladies’ nights, this fall they will also be offering euchre and a dart league. Be sure to check out their website regularly or follow them on social media so you never miss out on a special or an event.
Speaking of specials, you’ll want to head to The Creek Pub & Eatery to turn your case of “The Mondays” around for “Mini Mondays”. Which is exactly how it sounds – you can enjoy miniature offerings of select menu items, such as sliders, 69 cent frier wings or even mini pitchers every Monday! This fun and creative twist on menu classics is a great way to put a little bit of fun back into that day of the week which no one really looks forward to.
At the end of the day, it all comes back to community. Whether it’s inviting business neighbours to karaoke night, using their walls to display local artwork commission free, or visiting other Grand Valley establishments for their own anniversaries, Chris and Parul want The Creek Pub & Eatery to be the place which brings people together.
Even as they strive to bring in the new, they want to honour the old. A feature that Parul is excited to begin working on is a history wall, that will highlight the various roles that their location has played over the years in Grand Valley. They are aware that the building they bought has been serving the Grand Valley community in some form or another since 1884 and The Creek Pub & Eatery is honoured to be just one more chapter in that long story.
WRITTEN BY: JILLIAN KENT | PHOTOGRAPHY: CORY BRUYEA
RESOURCES: THE CREEK PUB & EATERY, GRAND VALLEY