Zellers to bring back diner dishes to Mississauga, Burlington and St. Catharines
Zellers classic diner favourites make a comeback for the opening of shops in Mississauga, Burlington, St. Catharines and beyond.
Zellers brick-and-mortar locations will open inside 25 Hudson’s Bay stores this year including shops in Mississauga, Burlington, St. Catharines, the Hudson’s Bay Company announced this month.
Zellers will sell a selection of design-led products across home decor, toys, baby apparel and pets.
But the 10,000 square foot stores inside the HBC stores won’t have enough space for an in-store diner. Yet, many people are craving a taste of hot chicken sandwiches or fries and gravy those classic diners used to serve. There have been calls to bring the diners back.
“Hudson’s Bay stores, the retailer has heard loud and clear the call for the restaurant return,” HBC says in a press release today (Jan. 27).
Instead of an in-store diner, HBC will bring in a “fleet of food trucks” to greet customers at its first locations opening this spring.
The “Zellers Diner on wheels” will pull into locations over a series of days, and serve shoppers fan favourites from the Zellers Family Restaurant. HBC hasn’t released the opening date for the stores and is not yet saying when the food trucks will arrive at each store.
But Zellers diner fans can now vote on which classic menu items to bring back. Zellers has listed 10 menu items nine from the original restaurant (adding one new veggie option for good measure).
People can vote for their favourite in an Instagram poll on @zellersofficial.
The top five will make the cut.
Here are the 10 items:
- Big Z Burger
- Fries and Gravy
- Hot Chicken Sandwich
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Onion Rings
- Hot Dog
- Chicken Fingers
- Veggie Burger
Following the initial stops at the store locations — and if customers embrace the comeback — the Zellers Diner on wheels will head out for a cross-Canada debut. Tour dates and locations are to be shared at a later date.
Walter Zeller bought 14 Canadian stores from American retailer Schulte-United in 1931, he reopened the stores as Zellers in 1932, according to HBC. The first in-store restaurant, the Skillet, was opened in the 1950s and it later became Zellers Family Restaurant.
In 2019, HBC announced that the final two Zellers stores, in Etobicoke and Ottawa, would permanently close in early 2020.
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