SUMMERVILLE, N.S. — Work continues on ambitious multi-million-dollar renovations at The Quarterdeck Beachside Villas & Grill that will add new loft rooms, a new recreation centre and a rebuilt restaurant to the property on Nova Scotia’s South Shore.
Construction is well underway on a four-storey building, overlooking Summerville Beach, which will feature 12 lofts (three bachelor units; five one-bedroom suites; and four two-bedroom suites).
“We needed more units to meet demand in peak season,” said Greg Whynot, part of the family ownership team that bought the property in 2014.
The new loft suites will feature an “upscale” look and will offer picture windows and recessed terraces providing privacy, said Whynot.
Plans call for construction to be completed by early July, he said, but the hotel has already been accepting bookings for early August. “Demand has been strong.”
This follows a refresh to the existing 13 townhouse-style villas that upgraded amenities (new carpets and kitchen appliances, for example). Whynot expects this to be finished by late March.
Directly behind the new villa building sits the rec centre, which, when completed, will feature 3,000 square feet of space offering a 15 ft. x 25 ft. indoor pool; sauna, hot tub and weight room; lounge; and 18-seat theatre.
The rec centre, said Whynot, will round out the Quarterdeck’s amenities, and is expected to be built by early July. Also featured in the rec centre will be a facility allowing the hotel to do its laundry onsite instead of outsourcing it, said Whynot.
A gift shop/ice cream store, opened in summer 2014, operates in the peak April-to-October season.
Old restaurant torn down
Last November, the ownership team decided to demolish the restaurant building, which had been around since the Quarterdeck opened more than 80 years ago. In its place, a two-storey building, under construction (and expected to be finished by the end of May), will house a revitalized Quarterdeck Beachside Grill restaurant.
To feature 90 inside seats and another 40 on a wraparound patio, the restaurant, said Whynot, will “have the same soul as the previous building,” with a similar feel, but done with “East Coast modern flair.”
On the plate, Quarterdeck Beachside Grill “will showcase straightforward, modern presentations of traditional Nova Scotian cuisine,” according to new executive chef Adam Langille. “We are making connections with local fishermen, farmers and foragers in order to steady our focus on both local and ethical food choices and suppliers.”
Augmenting seafood such as halibut, lobster and scallops will be landlubbers’ fare — the likes of locally raised pork, beef, lamb and chicken, he said. A takeout window will allow customers to order food to-go and enjoy it al fresco on the patio or adjacent beach.
Whynot said he hopes to operate the restaurant year round, rather than seasonally, as was the previous norm.
To bolster business in the slower months, the ownership team is building, on the level above the new restaurant, a meeting space accommodating 75 people that’s designed as a destination for small group functions, said Whynot.
Peering into his crystal ball, Whynot said that micro-cottages, located in a secluded wooded area on the hotel’s 43 acres, are “on the radar.” But although he added that “we feel we won’t have a problem filling those cottages in peak season,” Whynot said that “we want to get the new additions right” before undertaking any new projects.