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Let’s eat! Teklenburg’s third owners sailing into retirement

After 24 years, Jody and Curtis MacDonald are ready for new challenges

There have been three owners of the Teklenburg’s Restaurant on Lasalle since its inception.

As luck would have it, the owners are looking for that fourth owner this summer.

Jody and Curtis MacDonald, who have owned the seafood restaurant for 24 years are ready for new adventures even though they will miss the place given it is all that they have known.

“Curtis worked for the second owner when he purchased it in 1999. A year later, we met. I was engaged to Curtis and then married. Three kids came along. It is like we married each other and Teklenburgs all at once,” she said.

Jody works as the server. Curtis is the cook. Many don’t even know that they are the owners because they conduct themselves without any fanfare. They both believe it was the best way to get raw and honest feedback from their customers.

Teklenburg’s — named after its original owners — operates like a mom and pop shop. There is no website. The menu has not changed much in 48 years because it is tried, tested and true, complete with homemade tartar sauce and fries cut by hand.

There are no desserts or fancy drinks — they keep things simple with Ontario wines only.

“We have generational customers. Some have left town, but come back to take their parents who are seniors back to their favourite nautical seafood house,” said Jody.

A menu favourite continues to be the Canadian with its lobster tail, snow crab, shrimp, scallops, garlic bread and choice of side, complete with garlic butter with a candle underneath.

There is also the best homemade clam chowder money can buy. It’s like potato soup but with clams.

“People come in and say that they remember how it tasted 30 years ago and it still tastes the same,” Jody said.

For those who don’t like seafood, there is steak and homemade burgers.

Jody said all three of her children have worked at the restaurant, too. She will miss it all, but life was put into perspective during the pandemic and even before. They realized they needed change.

“We have seen the obituaries. People are dying young. I have had a cancer scare, my husband has issues with his legs. Health is important. Life is too short and it is time to focus on that,” she said. 

To make things more difficult was the war in Ukraine. Russia processes all seafood, even what is caught here in Canada. This has caused the seafood prices to spiral upwards worldwide.

“Large lobster tails are hard to find and my other job is working in the food supply industry. The restaurant industry was the hardest hit industry with the pandemic, and this makes it even harder to keep prices economical and keep customers happy,” Curtis MacDonald said.  

The MacDonald’s have mixed emotions as Teklenburg’s has been their first home for many years.  

They are hopeful like their clientele that the name can stay the same. And the prices can stay the same to allow seniors to come just as frequently as they do now.

Teklenburg’s can be found on Facebook

The summer hours of operation are listed below: 

  • Tuesday-Thursday 4 - 7 p.m.
  • Friday 11-8 p.m.
  • Saturday 3 - 730 p.m.
  • Closed Sunday and Monday

Anastasia Rioux is a writer is Greater Sudbury. Let’s Eat! is made possible by our Community Leaders Program.