Proprietors, “Woody” Kocsis (left), and Art Bazoian have opened Phase #1 of their three phase plan to bring to quality fast food back to Eagle Place. Eagle Place Fish, Sub and Chips shop located at the former Big Top Sub Shop at the corner of Erie Ave and Walter Street, is now open, but in the spring, Big Top will reopen as Boz’s Ice Cream and Hotdogs. Later in the fall, “Woody’s Comfort Food Take Out” will open just around the corner. All three locations will be will be interconnected. (Photo by Jim Windle)
BRANTFORD – How many people remember their mom or dad bringing home Fish and Chips every Friday night after work? Certainly Art Bazoian does. His dad was probably the guy who cooked ‘em up and wrapped them in newspaper at Eagle Place Fish and Chips, located at 216 Erie Ave., at the corner of Erie and Walter Street, in Brantford.
“My dad owned a small sporting goods store right across the street,” says Bazoian.
“He won $10,000 in Lotario and opened Big Top Subs at the corner. When he retired, my sister Linda took over and ran it until about 5 years ago when I took the reigns.”
Even before the Bazoian family owned the location, it was well known to the neighbourhood and to travelers between Six Nations and Brantford as Ushers Fish and Chips.
But even before that, it was a popular watering hole known as the Parkdale Hotel, used frequently by farmers on their way home from the old Market Square, back in the horse and buggy days.
“Woody” Kocsiss, former owner/operator of “Woody’s Pub” on King George Road, and Bazoian have known each other for years, but one day they started talking about Bazoian’s vision for a one stop multi-purpose take out food location in Eagle Place, an area identified as under serviced in that field. Woody liked the sounds of it and threw in with him to see the vision through.
Phase #1 was to reopen Eagle Place Fish and Chips, which has been closed in recent years, located right beside Big Top Subs on the corner. The sub shop is now part of the new Eagle Place Fish Sub and Chips.
This spring, for Phase #2, the former Big Top Subs will reopen as Boz’s Ice Cream and Hotdogs. Then in the fall, at a storefront in the same building but right around the corner, Phase #3 will open as, “Woody’s Comfort Food Take Out”.
Together the duo has recognized what they call the “fibre of the Eagle Place community”, and they have been well received by the nighbourhood.
“Everyone has a story about this building,” says Woody. “It’s such a woven-in part of the neighbourhood.”
Moments later in our interview, a customer came through the door and instantly told Art and Woody his story about what he remembers growing up in Eagle Place and going to the neighbourhood fish and chips shop.
“See what I mean,” laughed Woody.
“The number one thing we do here is to always use 100% pure fish – no sodium nitrates, no phosphates or any other additives or preservatives, so its just fish,” adds Bazoian.
The word “quality” is something Art and Woody don’t throw around lightly. They explain that, as in anything, there are quality ingredients and then there is cheaper lesser grade ones which most take-outs tend to use.
“The one thing we both agreed was to only use the highest quality ingredients,” says Bazoian. “Everything from our batter, to coleslaw, to our sauces and gravy are all made in-house by hand, fresh every day.”
“We do a AAA inside round herb crusted roast beef,” says Woody. “A lot of people wouldn’t do that for a holiday dinner, but that’s what we use in our roast beef subs, everyday.”
They already boast a solid Six Nations/New Credit clientele, but they are hoping to increase that as they add more food choices.
“We’re open now, but we are planning our Grand Opening, and we chose the Two Row Times to help us with that, because a lot of our customers are from the Ohsweken area and TRT has very good circulation,” Bazoian says. “We want to look for ways to interact with both Brantford and Six Nations through the Two Row Times.”
Between them, Art and Woody have been in the food service industry for almost 70 years, and this combined experience and industry knowledge will help them accomplish their goals of quality take out food at a convenient location, and at affordable price.