l'autochtone taverne americaine Haileybury

Owner of acclaimed Ontario restaurant says he's leaving industry due to long COVID

The owner and chef at an innovative restaurant in Ontario announced that he's selling his business and leaving the industry after battling long-COVID symptoms for the past year.

Gerry Brandon is one of the talents behind L'Autochtone Taverne Americaine, which describes itself as a "hybrid eatery and cultural hub" that blends foods from English, French, and First Nations cultures. 

In a post shared to the Food and Wine Industry Navigator Facebook group on Monday, Brandon revealed that he's faced several health challenges after contracting COVID in 2022. 

"I have been facing declining health with 'long-COVID' symptoms limiting my ability to function in the kitchen," he wrote. "My doctors are telling me it's time to leave the industry and tackle a radical lifestyle change or face a much shorter time here on Earth."

In early 2019, Brandon and his wife opened the Indigenous urban-style bar and grill which would eventually be praised for its focus on local and sustainable ingredients. 

"35 years in the industry as a chef, consultant, manager, [and] teacher is over for me," he continued. "We are devastated to leave but there may be an opportunity for someone younger (and healthier). Thank you all." 

Although Brandon has plans to sell the business and the building in which its located, service at the restaurant will continue to operate while he finds "someone with the vision to match the space." 

L'Autochtone Taverne Americaine is located at 484 Ferguson Avenue in Haileybury, Ont. 

Lead photo by

L'Autochtone Taverne Americaine

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