Email Us:
May 13, 2023

Univex pm91

In the fickle world of the restaurant business, lasting more than a decade can be a major accomplishment.

And if you’re still around after more than six decades — there must be a secret to your success.

Here are three New Brunswick spots that are still popular after all these years, all places where everyone really does know your name.

Univex pm91 Chris Rock Tavern

The Chris Rock in downtown Moncton is celebrating its 60th year of business, making it two years older than the actor and comedian Chris Rock, if you’re wondering. Locals tend to pronounce it the CHRIS-rock.

Opened in 1963, the tavern is named for its founders: Chris Shaban, who managed the Fighting Fisherman himself — boxing champ Yvon Durelle — and Charles (Rocky) Stone, who is described by the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame as the “‘founding father” of football in Moncton.

Univex pm91 a smiling man with beard stubble wears a black ball hat with the words chris rock tavern est. 1963 in orange letters. He stands inside a restaurant with the background activity out of focus behind him

James Boushel is the owner of the Chris Rock Tavern in Moncton. It’s been serving customers for 60 years. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

The dimly lit tavern is bustling even on a Thursday afternoon, as patrons drink in front of the beer taps at the bar or eat at the round wooden tables in front of the pool table. Large black and white photos of Moncton’s past hang on the walls across from a few VLTs. Staff and customers call out to each other by their first names. 

WATCH | Step inside some of the oldest restaurants in New Brunswick:

| 60 years and counting: how 3 longtime n. B. Eateries have stood the test of time | 3

These N.B. restaurants have stood the test of time

A small number of eateries have been around for more than 60 years. Learn about several that have distinct stories to tell.

Owner James Boushel says one of the secrets to lasting 60 years is creating a great relationship between staff and patrons. Another is being fiercely loyal to locals — both people and brands. 

“We have been partners with Moosehead since day one, Feb. 12, 1963,” Boushel said, thinking of the Saint John brewery owned by the Oland family. “It’s been told to me that Mr. Oland himself put the original draft lines in.” 

Univex pm91 a building with a white exterior and black trim hosts a large mural that says

The Chris Rock Tavern on Moncton’s Albert Street, a fixture since 1963. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

With a quick scan of the tavern over his shoulder, he said he could easily name everyone at every table. 

“You don’t get that [in] many places,” said Boushel.

“We’re not a corporate environment, we’re a family-owned business — my family is here every day,” he said. “Everybody knows everybody, and that’s the difference. We care.” 

Univex pm91 a black and white photo showing a bearded man in a pick-up truck with cases of beer in the back. The door reads 'moosehead breweries limited. '

Derek Oland of Moosehead Breweries is show on a photo on the wall. The caption says, ‘In 1963, Mr. Oland personally installed the draught beer lines at the Chris Rock making this establishment one of the first in New Brunswick to serve Moosehead products on tap.’ (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

Boushel relishes the concept of a tavern lost in time, and said there’s never been a push to modernize or chase trends. 

“We’re not always looking for the next thing, we’re happy to be what we are.” 

Univex pm91 Carman’s Diner

On the other side of the province is Carman’s, styled as a quintessential ’50s diner, it also turned 60 this year. 

From the checkerboard floors to the red-vinyl barstools and booths, the diner with mini jukeboxes at each table has been an institution in St. Stephen for as long as co-owner Suzie Hossack has been alive. 

Her grandfather opened the diner after leaving the woods, where he was a lumber-camp cook. Hossack can remember playing with her Barbies in the basement while her mother, who had taken over the place, waited tables upstairs. 

Univex pm91 a blonde woman wearing a lavender top smiles at the camera. In the background are stack of restaurant coffee cups and drink tumblers. Wooden block letters spelling out carman's diner sit on a high shelf.

Susie Hossack, co-owner of Carman’s Diner, is the third generation of her family to own and work at the diner, inheriting it from her mother who had taken it over from her father, the original owner. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

“It has not changed,” said Hossack, who now owns the diner with her brother and sister. 

“People will come in here that haven’t been in here for 30 or 40 years and be like, ‘Wow, it’s the same as it ever was.'” 

Having worked at the King Street diner since she was a teenager, Hossack can tell what day of the week it is based on who’s in the booths — people she knows by first name and last, and often their entire extended families. 

Univex pm91 a blonde server in a purple top and black jeans waits on a man with short white hair and glasses wearing a plaid shirt on a red restaurant booth behind a chalkboard sign that reads

Carman’s has a retro style, complete with vinyl booths and jukebox players. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

But she also feels a sense of responsibility. Hossack said many of her regulars are seniors who depend on Carman’s for their meals every day. When people eat at her restaurant twice a day, she said, they’re depending on the diner for food. 

“We cook real food,” she said. “We cook food in our oven every night, turkey, beef and pork. We do it the old-fashioned way. We haven’t changed since the beginning.” 

The newest item on the walls among the old Coca-Cola signs and tin placards is a recognition certificate from the province acknowledging the diner’s 60 years of service. 

“That was nice,” said Hossack. “We acknowledged it on social media, but it kind of came and went. Then people kind of picked up that this is a big deal.” 

Univex pm91 Joe’s Diner

Joe’s Diner on Devon Avenue, on the north side of Fredericton, is small place with a loyal following.

The building seats just 16 people at a time. Those seats are all at the counter, where you can watch your meal cook on the grills just a couple of metres away. 

Univex pm91 a small red building with a faded sign on the roof that reads

Joe’s is a tiny but well-loved diner on Fredericton’s north side. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

Yoon Jeong Lee and her husband, Seong Won Han, bought the diner six months after they moved from South Korea 13 years ago.

“We immigrant from South Korea 2010, January. We started [working] this restaurant in June,” said Lee.

They’ve kept the home-style menu that Joe’s is known for, supplementing it with traditional Korean dishes, such as bulgogi and kimchi. Lee said her sister helps when things get busy, but for the most part the diner is run by just the two of them. 

Univex pm91 a south korean couple wearing masks face the camera. The man wears a bright green chefs coat that reads

Seong Won Han and Yoon Jeong Lee moved to Canada from South Korea in 2010 and have been running Joe’s Diner ever since. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

Old menus date the business back to 1941, back when it was called Joe’s Lunch. Records from the provincial archives show that Joe’s Lunch may have been relocated from somewhere else at some point. 

Lee is unsure exactly how long the diner has been running, but thinks it’s about “70 or 80 years old.” 

Univex pm91 the interior of a small restaurant with a row of stools alongside a counter facing the stoves and grills where two people prepare food. A single man eats a meal at the counter.

Inside Joe’s Diner there is a single row of stools at the counter where hungry customers can tuck into their meals. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

In the 1950s, when it was standing where it is today, 83-year-old Burton Green remembers eating there when his cousin brought him and his brother to town for a day. 

“It was Joe’s Lunch then,” said Green. “And hotdogs then were 10 cents apiece.” 

Univex pm91 an older man with white hair poking out from under a black cap gives a thumbs up and smiles at the camera. He wears black rimmed glasses and a blue windbreaker.

Burton Green has foud memories of eating at Joe’s Diner when he was a teenager in the 1950s. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

Green said he’s watched restaurants come and go over the decades, but Joe’s remains, which he attributes to the friendliness of the series of owners who have run it.

“It’s quite a miracle, really, that it’s been on the go all this time,” said Green.

Read More

See more food service industry news, reviews and products at FSX, the Food Service Exchange, the commercial food service industry’s go-to source for purchasing overstock, discontinued, and scratch-and-dent equipment and supplies, and you will be shocked at how good our prices are (an average discount of over 50% of today’s market price).

The FSX online marketplace provides restaurants, caterers, schools and other food service facilities with access to a wide assortment of products. The exchange allows for direct sales between pre-approved sellers and buyers, ensuring a seamless, reliable, and fast timely transaction process. Whether it is a model from a previous year or an item with a slight imperfection, buyers can purchase anything they need from our extensive pool of pre-selected, certified top equipment manufacturers and dealers. With Food Service Exchange, customers can expect premium equipment and supplies, amazing prices, timely shipping, and consistent satisfaction. Find out more information today about FSX Food Service Commercial Kitchen Equipment and Restaurant Supplies at 20 – 50% off market prices, with a minimum 90-day warranty. Plus, 5-star customer service reviews, unmatched 90-day warranty, and always free shipping!