Algonquin College benefits from new Lone Star location

To mark the official opening Monday of its fifth Ottawa location, Lone Star Texas Grill has raised $15,000 for a bursary program at the Algonquin College School of Hospitality.

The Lone Star launched its newest restaurant, near the corner of Hunt Club and Uplands roads, with a fundraising event this past weekend. Lone Star’s director of marketing, Kathryn Leroux, said every new location gets the same treatment, with dress rehearsals on Wednesday through Friday before the main fundraising event on Saturday.

Family and friends of staff get the invite on the Wednesday, while the local business community and residents receive invitations for Thursday and Friday. There is a predetermined set fee for the Saturday event, but money is raised for the designated cause throughout the four days.

“Between Wednesday and Saturday, I think we had close to 1,500 people through the restaurant,” she said.

Ms. Leroux said as of Monday afternoon, she wasn’t yet sure how much was raised.

“I’m still counting up from Saturday night,” she said. “It has been a crazy week, but it looks like we’re pretty close (to the $15,000 goal), and whatever we haven’t hit, Lone Star will top up.”

Ms. Leroux said the bursary, for $500 a year, will likely be rotated between culinary and management students.

The Tex-Mex restaurant chain is excited to bring its new look to Ottawa, she said, noting the chain’s newer locations throughout southern Ontario are quite different from its older Ottawa dining spots.

She said once the new location – the chain’s 20th Ontario restaurant – on Gibford Street settles in, Lone Star will do “some retouches and refreshing” at the St. Laurent Boulevard location as well as the flagship location on Baseline Road.