Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill Re-Opens in Cornwall

Cornwall, ON – July 3, 2012Looking to watch the big game? You might want to check out one of the 63 high-definition TVs at the newly re-opened Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill on Brookdale Avenue in Cornwall.

“Sports is kind of our thing,” grins owner Ayhan Ercenik.

Ayhan knows something about sports – he was a member of the Turkish national football (soccer) team and played in a professional league before a knee injury sent him to the sidelines. Still, he will be following with interest as his former team competes in the Summer Olympics in London.

“Our restaurant will be a great place to watch the Olympics,” he notes. “We have multiple digital receivers so we can have several different games on the screen at any one time.”

Ayhan and his nephew Gokan Karakus purchased the 4700 sq.ft. restaurant and have since spent upwards of $1 million in renovations, including a $100,000 audio-visual system that features the aforementioned TVs as well as one screen that measures 180 inches. Other renovations include a complete remodelling scheme that includes new, modern seating.  48 new staff people have been hired.

“On behalf of City Council and the citizens of Cornwall, I would like to extend a sincere welcome to the new owners of Shoeless Joe’s Cornwall,” said Mayor Bob Kilger. “The new restaurant looks fantastic.”

The Shoeless Joe’s menu has also been revitalized, offering a diverse range of choices that include chicken wings, hamburgers, steak, calamari, sandwiches, pasta and salads.

For those looking for more liquid refreshments, the bar has over 10 beers on tap, including a unique “ice cobra” tap that is kept at a frosty -2 degrees Celsius.

Ayhan and Gokan are looking to cement Shoeless Joe’s reputation of supporting sports by sponsoring the Cornwall Colts and Cornwall River Kings.

“We are willing to talk to any local sports team about how we might be able to help via our Home Team Advantage program,” says Gokan. “We have a budget and a goal of helping local teams raise funds.”

Both Gokan and Ayhan have experience in the restaurant business. Ayhan has managed several Tim Hortons restaurants in Ottawa for the past 12 years, and prior to that he ran the kitchen in a Manhattan restaurant in New York. The pair undertook a thorough investigation before deciding to invest in Shoeless Joe’s and in Cornwall.

“Our research was very detailed and it indicated that Cornwall was a growing market,” says Ayhan. “The prospects of success here are very promising.”

Since opening the owners as well as Shoeless Joe’s head office have been pleased with the response from patrons – sales are well above expectations.

Ayhan and Gokan have moved to Cornwall and want to become more involved in the community. They are looking to help local charities and organizations who may need a partner to hold an event.

“Cornwall is a great place to live and raise a family,” says Ayhan.  “The cost of housing is very affordable, especially compared to Ottawa.”

Family is very important to Ayhan, and he is enjoying taking time to help his 9 year-old son Ali hone his soccer skills. It is too early to tell if the son will follow the father into sports or the restaurant business, but at least for now Shoeless Joe’s offers the best of both worlds.

“I am teaching him everything I know!” beams Ayhan.

About Shoeless Joe’s Cornwall

Shoeless Joe’s Cornwall is located at 1110 Brookdale Avenue. it is open from 11:00 am to 1:00 am Sunday to Wednesday, and from 11:00 am to 2:00 am Thursday to Saturday.

Written by Bob Peters

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