Carlito and Thelma Gicale, owners/managers of the CanAsian Restaurant in Emo, have closed those doors to focus on a larger project here in Fort Frances.
Formerly known as Lee Garden, the Gicales opened the “CanAsian Family Restaurant” at 418 Scott St. on Monday.
“We wanted to serve a bigger community,” Carlito Gicale explained.
“We are excited,” he added. “There are a lot of people around here and lots of people have been asking us when we will open because they’ve seen our ‘opening soon’ sign.”
Gicale said the new restaurant is about three times the size of their Emo location, which only had enough space for about seven tables.
The couple purchased the building on May 8 and said it’s taken them about three months to get their business ready for the public.
“We have done a lot. Everything has changed,” said Thelma Gicale, comparing the restaurant to when it was purchased.
“There’s still little things we can fix but we are able to start things up now,” she noted.
The Gicales indicated the transformation has included everything from pipe and electrical repairs to re-painting both the exterior and interior—and even installing a new dishwasher.
They added there’s been plenty of help from family members throughout the three-month process, and the restaurant will continue to run with the help of their nieces and nephews.
The restaurant will be open from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The menu consists of Filipino, Thai, Chinese, and Canadian food. The selection is similar to their Emo location but the Gicales said they’ve added more options.
The family also has added a rewards program to their restaurant here, which is something they hadn’t tried to do before.
When signing up for the program, customers will receive either a free dessert or an appetizer of their choice.
One dollar spent is equal to one reward point, with patrons earning a $5 gift certificate after accumulating 100 points.
Other benefits of the program include knowing restaurant specials in advance and obtaining free birthday gifts.
“We hope this will bring people into the location,” said Thelma Gicale.
Meanwhile, the Gicales said they aren’t sure how long the doors to their Emo location will remain closed.
“Our priority is here first,” Carlito stressed.
“Until we are able to find out how things will work here, we will decide later what to do,” he noted.
“For now, we are excited to serve our food at this location.”