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‘Riding The High’: Cap-Pele Restaurant Celebrates Reopening

May 10, 2023 | 8:52 AM

Chez Camille Take Out’s more than 50-year legacy serving homecooked food to Cap-Pele residents came to a sudden end in the early morning hours of April 24, 2022, when a suspicious fire tore through the restaurant and burnt it to the ground.

A little over one year after the blaze, the well-known eatery reopened in its original Acadie Street location.

Brad Powers, owner of Chez Camille Take Out, said in an interview the reopening was a long time coming; plans began almost immediately after the original restaurant burnt down.

“Chez Camille has been part of the community for 50-plus years and we’re not going anywhere,” said Powers. “Yeah, we have a new building and it’s more up-to-date and meets all the new codes and stuff, but we’re still the same great place we always were.”

Powers said while contractors designed a new building, the restaurant experimented with a food trailer. It served its purpose, he said, to allow customers to show their support for the Cap-Pele mainstay.

That support continued through to its reopening weekend on April 27. He said the community came out in droves to show their support, complementing the restaurant’s facelift and bigger space.

“It was crazy, I don’t know if there are words to explain how great it was to see how much support there was for us on our opening weekend,” said Powers, who bought the restaurant in 2018.

He felt inspired to go through the purchase after spending many summers in the Shediac area or socializing with his friends. Powers enjoyed Chez Camille’s “family-oriented environment” that the previous owners created.

“I knew that that’s what I wanted to be a part of, something that was bigger than just a restaurant — it was a staple in the community,” he said.

“It’s there for a long time, and I’m happy to be a part of something that we can make, hopefully, live on for another 50 years.

The New Brunswick RCMP launched an investigation into the cause of the fire at Chez Camille days after it occurred, deeming it “suspicious in nature.” It came after other suspicious fires in several nearby communities since 2019.

Huddle requested an interview with RCMP Cpl. Hans Ouellette for an update on the investigation, but did not receive a response before press time. But in a news release issued at the time, Ouellette said several arrests had been made in connection to other fires in the area.

“Each investigation takes time and is investigated thoroughly,” said Ouellette in a news release issued in April 2022.

“The RCMP does not issue updates to suspicious fire investigations if the file is deemed to be non-criminal in nature, accidental or fraudulent in nature.”

Powers said he never received an update about the RCMP’s investigation but admits it’s not something he’s really probed much on. While the fire made him quite angry at the time, he has moved past it and instead wants to continue “riding the high” of being open again.

“We’re happy to be back on track,” he said.

Aaron Sousa is a Huddle Today contributor covering New Brunswick, content sharing partner of Acadia Broadcasting Corporation. 


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