Pelham Business Association - Think Local, Shop Pelham

Keith's Restaurant
Most Famous Pie In Fonthill!
1502 Pelham Street
Fonthill, ON
L0S 1E0
Phone: 905.892.3261
E-mail: EMAIL

Our Story

Rodger's Store Circa 1929

In 1929, Fonthill had a population of a few hundred people and it was in need of a variety store. Mr. William Rodgers bought the land on the corner of Canborough Road and Pelham Street and built a fine shop, with living quarters upstairs and a verandah all around. He and his wife sold everything from penny candy and pickles to meat and vegetables. Mr. Rodgers would hitch the horse to the wagon and drive it down to the Welland Canal at Allanburg to pick up his supplies from the ships and barges for the store.

Business was good and often both family and customers alike could be seen sitting in front of the store, on the verandah, enjoying a drink and some conversation. This business flourished until the early forties when the Rodger’s decided to do a new venture and they sold the building to the Kaufmans. Seeing another need in Town the Kaufman’s turned it into a bakery. People came from all over Town to buy their wonderful wares-cookies, cakes, pies and baked desserts. The sweet smell of their baking drifted across Town to the delight of all. The business was doing very well but the same could not be said for the trademark verandahs. They were taking a beating from the weather and had to be torn down in the early fifties.

In the mid fifties, after the Kaufman’s went on to another business, the building was bought by Orlin Crysler. Orlin’s cousin Keith Crick had a little restaurant next door called the Dew Drop Inn. The two of them thought that the old Bakery would be a great spot to move the Restaurant. So, they renovated and in 1959, Keith moved over and it became Keith’s Restaurant.

Keith learned how to bake pies from his Mother and from Jean Paterson, Joyce Syrnak who were the cooks in his kitchen. He also took many recipes and hints from people who baked pies and came up with melt in your mouth pie dough and wonderful creams, lemon and fruit pies. Everything started from scratch: milk and eggs in the creams, lemons in the lemon, and fresh fruit in the covered pies. Keith’s also became well know for its good burgers, French fries, hot beef sandwiches and of course those wonderful pies with the huge meringues!

From the very beginning, Keith bought everything in Town and from the farms in the surrounding countryside. Klager’s walked the meat across the street, Crysler’s farm supplied all the fresh produce and the fruit farms supplied the cherries, peaches, apples and berries for the pies. The roast went in the oven and gravy was made from the drippings, many pounds of potatoes were peeled for mashed, home fries, and French fries and of course there were always soup bones simmering for that great, hearty vegetable beef soup.

When work needed to be done, Keith contacted local trades: Zwierschke Brothers, Giles Electric, Wurful Construction. All hardware items came from Wilson’s (now Beamer’s) In the mid seventies,with the Restaurant being very busy, Keith decided to expand and the dining and banquet room were built. The Town became “wet” in 1978. Keith’s was the first place to be licensed under the L.C.B.O. 

Keith's Restaurant  decked out in celebration of Town Of Pelham 150th Anniversary in June 2006

Not too much has changed over the years. We still cook the same way: Klager’s still walk the meat across the street. Although, now it is Fred and Jamie Arbour (Gordon and Ruth Klager’s son-in law and grandson) who bring the meat, we still go down to Crysler’s for our produce in the summer, go up to Gallagher's for more produce, get our blueberries from the farm in Ridgeville, De Vries farm in Fenwick for apples, peaches, pears and try our best to shop locally.

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Think Local. Shop Pelham!

Where we shop, where we eat and have fun - all of it makes our community home!

Local stores help to sustain vibrant workable town centres and are more directly accountable for their own environmental practices. Local business owners and their employees take more time to get to know their customers. YOU!

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