Generations of Monctonians have shared meals at Hynes restaurant, which has been open at its current location on Mountain Road since 1957.
After operating as a family business for three generations, former owner Jamie Hynes sold the business to new owners in early December.
Hynes called the move “bittersweet.”
“I have no regrets in my life here, but I just feel like life’s too short,” Hynes said on Thursday, saying running a restaurant through the Covid 19 pandemic made him reevaluate his situation.
Hynes restaurant first opened on St-George Street under the name “Jim’s Lunch” in 1939.
It moved to its current location on Mountain Road in 1957.
Hynes was bustling during lunchtime on Thursday afternoon.
Madelyne Wryde stopped in for lunch along with her husband and one-year-old son.
“I’ve been coming to Hynes since I was very young. I used to come with my dad. It was his favourite restaurant,” she said.
Wryde is eager to continue the tradition with her son, and said she hoped the restaurant wouldn’t change too much under the new ownership.
Carol LeBlanc said she’d been coming to Hynes for lunch since her days as a student at Moncton High in the mid 1960s.
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“Then it was just a neat thing to do,” she said of her school time lunches. “It was the cool thing to do but now it’s more the food and a little bit of nostalgia I guess with diners and stuff.”
She said the restaurant hadn’t changed much since her school days other than an extension that was added.
Twins Aldore and Dollard LeBlanc, now in their early 70s, said they used to come to Hynes once a week.
“Everything is nice, the waitresses, the company. It’s like a family restaurant,” Dollard LeBlanc said. “We’ve been coming here over 50 years now.”
Hynes said that because the restaurant had such a loyal customer base, he stressed to the new owners that it should retain its name, menu and staff.
“It’s still operating as Hynes restaurant, the Hynes name, the Hynes menu, the Hynes way lives on. That’s one thing that we were adamant about,” Hynes said.
He said his children have other jobs outside the restaurant business and weren’t interested in taking over, leading Hynes to find new co-owners Jay Patel, Bharjav Kevadaya, Sarehak Italiya.
In an interview on Thursday, Patel said he and his cousins Kevadaya and Italiya were interested in purchasing Hynes because it’s a succesful restaurant in one of Canada’s fastest growing cities.
Patel said while it is the first restaurant they’ve owned, they have experience working in restaurant kitchens.
He said he has no intention to make any major changes.
“Hynes will be the Hynes as usual,” he said.
Patel said they intended to keep all the same staff, some of whom have worked at Hynes for decades.
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