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  • Alexander Robinson

All the Bells and Whistles

The history of The Antlers goes back over 100 years

when it was operating as the Bucket-of-Blood Saloon. Then, during the Prohibition it operated as North Star Ice Cream Parlor, which was the front business for a speakeasy. For many that have been to Antlers, they may have experienced what owner Chris Szabo calls, "the bells and whistles," according to Chris this tradition started during the Prohibition days as a way to warn everyone that the police were coming. Nowadays this is used as a way to signify important guests or the distance one has traveled to visit. After Prohibition, the Bucket-of-Blood Saloon came back into operation and in 1948 the name was changed to The Antlers. It continued to operate under that name and in 2006 it became at risk of closing. Right around then is when Chris and his wife came into ownership of Antlers. They had heard it was for sale while at the bank and decided with their previous experience and their appreciation for the history of the restaurant, they couldn't pass up the opportunity. When they purchased Antlers they were also fortunate enough to retain some of the previous employees; currently Antlers employees approximately 30 people and in the summer months that typically doubles.

The Antlers' history is not the only thing that makes it special, according to Chris the experience and food are unique as well. Antlers has a banquet room available for group reservations (such as parties and the Rotary Club is known to hold meetings there as well). Additionally, the restaurant has full bar service available. They also cut their own steaks, prepare their fries fresh in-house, bake their own buns, and make their own soups. From time to time, one can expect unique wild game such as rabbit and ostrich. As Chris likes to say, Antlers offers "more than a meal," they discuss the history of the restaurant with their customers and they work to have a welcoming atmosphere to make the most of their customer experience. Through the success of Antlers, Chris has been able to sponsor the Sault Sasquatch International shootout tournament, more information on that can be obtain by calling over to The Antlers. This success has not been gained by the actions of Chris and his employees alone, he brought up the fact that the the recent work done by the Convention and Visitors Bureau and Sault Events have directly helped increase sales at Antlers.

Next time your searching for a meal, stop on by Antlers and see if they have something exotic in that you haven't had a chance to try. They have a large parking lot that will even accommodate buses. You can find out more information about The Antlers on Facebook @sooantlers and on their website

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