BERWICK, N.S – Many Berwick residents are saying they are “truly saddened” by news that the Driftwood Restaurant is closed.
A general theme of shocked and dismayed was evident in many of the comments posted on social media in response to word spreading that the popular restaurant would permanently close.
The Driftwood, located on Commercial Street in Berwick, appeared closed as of Jan. 23 and a formal announcement was published on its Facebook page Jan. 24.
Mayor Don Clarke says the restaurant was a big part of Berwick, “becoming somewhat of a culinary destination for people in the Annapolis Valley to come to for restaurants.”
“Many people ate there,” he added. “It had become a vibrant and very important part of Berwick, and it will certainly be missed,” he says.
Berwick resident Heather Cross says while she was no longer a frequent customer because “the prices went up,” many residents in Berwick sought the restaurant out “for their fish and chips and the breakfast with the slice of ham.”
Cross says she wonders whether local competition was a factor, since other businesses are setting up in town and January can be a “hard month after Christmas when people don’t have much money.”
“With lots of other restaurants in a little town, it’s hard with the little money that people get to spread around,” she says, adding that she hopes the retail space fills quickly.
“I hope whoever moves in makes a go out of it. I would hate to see it sit empty.”
The restaurant’s closing is a loss that appears to be stretching beyond the Berwick area.
Former frequent customer Lana Shay, a resident of Hantsport, says she is “truly saddened” by the news and “shocked because it always seemed so busy.”
Shay and her husband, Bob, had been regular customers even before the restaurant moved into its newer location, and always felt it was “a lovely, friendly and clean place.”
She says the couple would frequently meet other members of their clubs – the Shriners and Red Knights Motorcycle Club – while enjoying food.
“Bob and I would also take a drive up from Hantsport just to be patrons. [It was] always friendly and prompt service. I hate losing local business. I try to support it any chance I get. They will certainly leave [a] hole in that industry,” she says.