October 1, 2020 @3:00PM
East To West, the brand new seafood restaurant on Stettler’s Main Street, held their grand opening on Thursday, October 1. Blue and black pirate-themed balloons decorated the entrance of the newly renovated space, which features beautiful timber beams, antique ship parts, real lobster cage light features, and handmade decor by owner Justin Thibault.
Thibault is originally from Nova Scotia, but has lived in Alberta since 2004. He also runs local company Thibault’s Roofing, and his carpentry skills are on full display throughout the restaurant. It’s clear to see that the man has talent, which is especially apparent with what he called the “still sink,” which is featured in one of the bathrooms. The sink consists of a large tin pail for the basin, with the copper pipe cleverly shaped in coils with bright red valves for faucets which join via clear plastic tubing. It’s a simple concept, but the playful nature ties in brilliantly with the ambiance of the restaurant.
“We want to make dining out a fun experience. Especially during these hard times. We know that it can be expensive to have a nice meal and that families sometimes have to save up before spending their hard-earned money on a meal. We want to make sure they’re getting real value for their dollar.” Alicia Montgomery, East To West Manager & Mixologist
Montgomery went explained that she has worked in restaurants and bars across the globe after starting out as a young mom who wanted a job where she could be home with her children. At 19, her family picked up and moved to Amsterdam where she worked at the Hard Rock Cafe for two years until she was promoted to manager. Montgomery also mentioned that she worked in Mövenpick, a Swiss hospitality chain and Boom Chicago, an American-inspired dinner theatre in Amsterdam.
After serving drinks to delegates and diplomats, including Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka at posh Washington, D.C. restaurant Hamilton, Montgomery moved back home to Stettler about a year ago before re-igniting her passion for bartending and joining forces with Thibault and East to West.
East to West has their fresh seafood flown in from the east coast, a rarity in rural Central Alberta communities, which is sure to draw a crowd.
It’s obvious that this is a very community-minded organization, as they’ve added special touches like a wheelchair-accessible bathroom, dartboards in the back, and multiple TV screens around the dining area. Behind the bar is a tap with local beers and a variety of other adult beverages. Montgomery says that she’s been bartending for long enough that she can make anything you ask for. According to Thibault, they have almost every kind of liquor imaginable, including Proper Twelve, an Irish whiskey founded by Conor McGregor.
Thibault mentioned more than once that it really was a community effort to get the restaurant up and running. Help and support from local family and friends, combined with excellent service from companies like Ampko Electric, Stettler Plumbing & Heating, and Stettler Building Supplies contributed to the transformation of the building. Thibault also wanted to acknowledge The Growler Guys for helping out with the beer taps, and Diverse Signs for a last-minute edit to the menus. It’s truly been a group project that will undoubtedly pay dividends to everyone in the Town and County of Stettler with a hankering for fresh seafood.
The grand opening of the restaurant is from 11am until 10pm today, and groups of two or more are required to call and reserve a table to stay within COVID-19 protocols.
Montgomery mentioned that they were booked solid for supper tonight.
B Adair, Manager