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La Place Rendez-Vous is a family tradition

Sarah Noonan’s path to being the owner of the La Place Rendez-Vous may have seemed like something that was bound to happen. After all, her grandfather started the full-service hotel and her dad and uncle ran it for decades.

FORT FRANCES – Sarah Noonan’s path to being the owner of the La Place Rendez-Vous may have seemed like something that was bound to happen.

After all, her grandfather started the full-service hotel and her dad and uncle ran it for decades.

She just ended up taking a slight detour along the way as she was a teacher by trade before coming back to the family business in 2017.

“It’s been fun to see it through a different lens over the years,” Noonan said. “When you’re working as a student and as a youth, it was a wonderful summer job for me to come home to. I learned a lot of my work ethic and I kind of wanted to prove myself and let people know that I deserved a job there and I didn’t just have it because my dad was the owner.

“I was kind of competitive that way but I always enjoyed it. There’s always a good personal connection that you make with the customers and I just enjoyed the industry overall.

“Coming back to it after having that teaching experience having started my family . . . it’s been fun to challenge myself in a new way.”

Part of those challenges comes with being in charge of an established business in Fort Frances and keeping up a standard of excellence.

“I really focused on updating things with better technology and equipment for our staff, and there’s also been a huge focus on renovations,” Noonan said. “We just finished renovating all 67 of our rooms, which has been on the go since 2020.

“There’s a big focus on keeping things current so that everyone wants to continue to come here and enjoy it.”

There’s been challenges along the way of course, especially in terms of running the restaurant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For anyone that’s in the business and has stayed in it through COVID, I take my hat off to you because it’s a really difficult business to run,” Noonan said. “I feel like we’re turning the corner though. We’re getting back to normal staffing levels and we've reopened on Sundays again.

“Things have changed a lot over the last four years but I feel like we’re starting to settle back into our true offering. I would say that we’re serving the best food we’ve ever served.

“We still prepare our soups and sauces from scratch and we pound out the chicken breast to make the chicken dishes. That’s a hard art to stick to these days, so I feel proud that we’ve stayed true to the quality of our food.”

La Place Rendez-Vous is most well known for its wing night, which has been taking place on Thursday nights for over three decades.

“It’s a little unfortunate that chicken wing prices went through the roof in COVID so they aren’t 25 cents anymore, but it’s still going strong and people love coming in to have the best wings in town,” Noonan said.

“We also have a new feature that we are doing where every two weeks there’s a specialty burger that our chef (Shayne Bell) and his team make up, which has been super popular so far.

“We’ve partnered with Gerber Farms to bring grass-fed quality beef and I think that plays through with how awesome our burgers are here.”

More information on La Place Rendez-Vous can be found on their website.