If you walk into Mellos today, you will notice something special. Despite recent news that their landlord will not be renewing their lease at the end of 2015, there is a sense of hope. If you walk into Mellos today you will see an owner who is ready to roll up his sleeves and wash dishes, you will see a chef who has thrown himself into maintaining the inviting atmosphere that Mellos is known for, and you will see a packed restaurant full of regular customers asking what they can do to help.
For a lot of these customers, Mellos is their family, Mellos is their home. Their overwhelming support through these challenging times should not go unnoticed. The Ottawa community has spoken: they are not ready to say goodbye to the neon sign, the uneven booths, or the famous Mellos burger.
Mellos is an undeniable staple of Dalhousie Street. They are woven into the fabric of the Byward Market. They are there to serve the community, and they do so happily. They are your morning coffee, they are your friend; they are your neighbour.
Over the years I have had the privilege of not only being a regular customer myself, but eventually serving those customers as an employee of the restaurant. I have served the regulars, I have experienced their compassion. This is the community that Mellos has built; these are the generations of patrons who care.
And yet, the future of Mellos is at best uncertain: they have been informed their lease will not be renewed and the result of which appears to spell the end for the restaurant.
Despite this, Mellos continues on cooking and serving with their cheerful new slogan “let’s stay neighbours.” If you want Mellos to stay your neighbour, let the Ottawa community know with #SaveMellos.
Illustration courtesy of Paul Clarmont