Twigg’s Bar + Grill makes an incredible comeback after tragedy

Feb 24, 2021

Twigg’s Bar + Grill first opened its doors back in December 2008 and quickly became a community favourite in the town of Emeryville, Ontario. Owner Melissa Popkey-Skene had a strong background in foodservice and when she opened up a place of her own, she put her heart and soul into making it stand out. Great food, exceptional service and a small but inviting dining space — the place was a hit, remaining popular over a decade later.

Twigg’s wasn’t just a nice place to eat — it was an essential part of the local small business community that prioritized local makers and food producers. Melissa always made a point to support local suppliers, highlighting their ingredients on Twiggs’ menu and showcasing a variety of beautiful foods grown right here in Ontario. And as their distribution partner, the Morton team can attest that they really did these local ingredients justice!

Losing everything overnight

On the night of September 30th, 2019, everything changed for Melissa and the entire Twigg’s family. In a rare moment of downtime at home, Melissa received a call saying that Twigg’s Bar + Grill was on fire, and the situation was serious. She raced over to the restaurant, but it was too late — the fire was raging, Twigg’s was gone and the building wasn’t even salvageable. All Melissa could do was stand across the road and watch her dreams burn down. It was an absolutely heartbreaking event for Melissa, her staff and the Emeryville community members who loved the restaurant.

An incredible comeback — in the middle of a global pandemic!

Twiggs restaurant staff

It’s hard to come back after something as devastating as a fire, but Melissa and her team were determined. They came together, rebuilt their dreams and on October 16th, 2020, Twigg’s reopened their doors — yes, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a testament to their fantastic chefs, servers and leadership, the restaurant experienced high demand again right away and has continued to see steady business.

Of course, Twigg’s continues to face challenges like all independent restaurants at this time. Lockdown has been hard on small businesses – especially restaurants – and there are weekly obstacles to overcome. But if they can come back from a massive fire and survive a pandemic in the same year, you can guess how strong they are. We have every faith in their ability to thrive, and are glad to be a part of their extended team. Welcome back, Twigg’s Bar + Grill!