Last July, my sister, from Orangeville, passed away in her 83rd year. Had you ever asked her what was her very favourite meal, she would say fish and chips. On her several visits to me in Southampton, I would take her to dinner at Lord Elgin Restaur...
In 1955 Mike’s Grandpa Verral attempted to create the finest fish batter in the land. After several different concoctions he found the perfect blend of ingredients that made a delicious, crispy yet light battered fish. Little did Grandpa Verral know that his creation would be the foundation for Lord Elgin Fish & Chips, a Bruce County staple and country wide favourite for over 30 years.
With Grandpa’s secret recipe Mike’s parents Donna and Roy opened Lord Elgin Fish & Chips in 1980 on the corner of Hwy 21 and Market St. With a modest 40 seats they looked to create a quaint, intimate spot where the good folks of Port Elgin and surrounding area could feel right at home eating the area’s best fish & chips. The word spread quickly and before long those 40 seats just were not enough to accommodate the growing demand for the Lemckes' hand cut battered halibut and homemade fries. So in 1982 they moved to the Maple Square Mall with a 75 seat restaurant which would surely be big enough to serve everyone in and visiting the area. Not quite. The demand for the fish coated in the family’s ‘secret’ recipe forced Donna and Roy to build the current location in 1989. This location doubled the seating and had enough parking for the masses that to this day still bring lawn chairs to camp out while waiting to get a table.
Donna and Roy had the simplest of intentions when they started the business back in 1980 that it would be a family institution that would carry on through the generations of Lemckes to follow. Before long you could find their children Dana, Sherry & Mike helping out around the restaurant. Mike especially took to the business and began managing in a full time capacity in 1994. Learning the ins and outs of the business from his parents Mike had his sights set on becoming the next generation to lead Lord Elgin Fish & Chips. In 1998 with his lovely wife Janet that ambition would become reality as they purchased the business from Donna and Roy thus beginning the next chapter in the rich history of Lord Elgin Fish & Chips.
Today you can come in and enjoy the same great recipe that Verral created in 1955 which has remained a family secret for over 50 years. On the back of that recipe Lord Elgin Fish & Chips was voted one of Canada’s Best Fish & Chips in a country wide survey conducted by Canadian Living in March 2013. With a commitment to making over 90% our products including the coleslaw, tartar sauce and famous chowder fresh from scratch the integrity of what Grandpa Verral set out to accomplish remains intact; to simply make the best Fish & Chip experience in the land.