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Let’s eat! We go on a hunt for Josie’s Secret Patio

Tucked in the back of the old Alder Hall near the corner of Alder and Elm streets, this nook and cranny eaterie 
The sprawling patio seats about 40 patrons and is a hideaway from a busy area. There is music outside, a full bar menu and bar service plus diners can move inside and enjoy a round of golf simulation fun.

“A lot of the allure is in trying to find it,” jokes Patty Desjardins.

She’s one of the owners of Josie’s Secret Patio, named for her mother and located near the corner of Alder and Elm streets, which serves up lots of yummy eats like smash burgers, woodfired pizzas, tacos and shareable plates.

What was once the home of the old Alder Hall, a dance hall owned by her parents, the building now boasts an indoor simulated golf restaurant experience and secret patio.

The secret patio is a secret only because of its nook and cranny location. Tucked in the back of the old Alder Hall near the corner of Alder and Elm streets, the summer patio boasts a menu of pizzas, shareable plates and smash burgers. Supplied 

“This used to be my parent’s residence and their business. My mom was in charge of the food at the hall for weddings, showers and catering so when my brother came up with the idea to add a sprawling patio out back it was named in her honour,” Desjardins said.

Patty’s mom Josephine (Josie) Desjardins was the family pillar. She passed away in 2021. She and her husband, Maurice, owned a number of successful and prominent local businesses, including the Townhouse Tavern and the Walden General Store.

The secret patio seats 40 patrons comfortably and is well protected from the hustle and bustle of Elm Street nearby. There is music outside, a full bar menu and bar service.

In true tradition with the other family businesses — like the Townhouse Tavern and Laughing Buddha — the menu boasts a variety of vegan options.

There’s the sesame portobello tacos topped with red cabbage, avocado, cilantro and kale. The street corn and tortilla chips are also scrumptious, along with the tomato bisque and a few of the wood fired pizza varieties.

The Baha Chicken Tacos featured sliced chicken marinated in a baja sauce then grilled.  It’s served with red cabbage, avocados, fresh cilantro, pineapple and lime. It’s also topped with Josie’s house sauce. Supplied 

Patty’s son, Ryan Desjardins, manages the business for the most part.  

Both agree that the biggest hits on the menu have been the candy bacon and blue cheese pizza and the baja chicken tacos. The grilled caesar salad with warm bacon bits, crumbled parmesan cheese and the in-house dressing also turns heads.
They also say the bacon jelly smash burger is pretty enticing. It is stuffed with Monteray jack cheese, red pepper jelly, crispy onions and topped with a brioche bun. 

The patio is very much contingent on the weather. There are no covered options available.

“It’s been our experience that when your business boasts the word ‘patio’, people generally stay away when it is raining,” and Desjardins understands that so she is hoping for a fair summer season. 

After construction, the patio had only one month in operation last season, so Josie’s staff is gearing up to a much longer season this time around.  

Desjardins is convinced that Josie’s and the golf simulator business, which is open year-round, would be a point of pride for her parents.

The bacon jelly smash burger is double layered with candied bacon, cheese and red pepper jelly. It’s also topped with crispy onions, a brioche bun and jalapeno slices. Burgers are served with a side of tortilla chips, street corn salad, salsa fresca or tomato bisque. Supplied 

“The irony is that when my parents were teenagers, they came to the same hall to dance only then it was known as the Slovak Hall and Crystal’s Palace. My parents would refer to it as ‘bucket of blood’ because there were lots of fights back in the day.”

Today's business blend near Alder and Elm streets is nothing like the memories they would have once recalled. It’s relaxed and a little escape from the mundane.

Josie’s Secret Patio is open for the outdoor spring and summer season.  

Hours of operation are:

  • Tuesday-Thursday 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Closed Sunday and Monday

To learn more about the secret patio, visit the Instagram page at on Facebook and Instagram

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


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Anastasia Rioux

About the Author: Anastasia Rioux

Anastasia Rioux is a writer in Greater Sudbury.
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