Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
June 13, 2024
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Members Only

Business is booming at Bailey's Casual Dining, where membership has its privileges
<p>The father-daughter duo behind Bailey&#8217;s Casual Dining, Scott and Tara Brindley. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)</p>
The father-daughter duo behind Bailey’s Casual Dining, Scott and Tara Brindley. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

As the clock pushed 1:30 on a Tuesday afternoon well before the Victoria Day long weekend, the official beginning of the tourist season, Bailey’s Casual Dining was still full with the lunch crowd.

There wasn’t a single place to sit in the regular dining room. Seating was scant in a second, new dining room. Luckily for a couple of late lunchers, there was still a table or two.

A new Bailey’s Club membership program for residents only is the brainchild of Tara Brindley who, alongside her father Scott, owns and operates the eatery at Sandy Hook and County Rd. 10. 

In what is likely a first for a 
County restaurant, 
Bailey’s Club Members will enjoy preferred seating in a Members Only dining area.

“We needed to come up with a solution,” Ms. Brindley told the Gazette. “Summer is coming and a lot of our regulars, people who have sustained us over the winter, tell us, ‘We don’t bother coming in during the summer because of the long lines’.”

For an annual $10 fee, members will get a free breakfast on their birthday. And a $1 discount on meals over $10. 

And, in what is likely a first for a Prince Edward County restaurant, Bailey’s Club Members will enjoy preferred seating in a new Members Only dining area.

Tourist Season Solution

Ms. Brindley explained that during the busiest times of the day, when wait lines are out the door, if a table in the Members Only section becomes available, the next Bailey’s Club member in line will be seated, no matter how many people are in line ahead of them. 

A rare, quiet mid-afternoon moment inside the new members only dining area at Bailey’s Casual Dining. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

The regular dining room, an overflow room, and the patio will still be open to all on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Within a week of its launch, nearly 300 had signed up for the club, which has a residency requirement. Locals only. A driver’s license with a PEC address will suffice as proof. 

Even with the new dining area, more serving staff, and expanded supper hours, Bailey’s is busy. At a time when many eateries are feeling the pinch of higher costs and staffing concerns, this is the little restaurant that could. 

It’s all made possible by the steady stream of folks known by their first name and their usual breakfast order.

“I foresee there being issues this summer 
but I just want to make sure 
the locals know they are appreciated. 
They are here, supporting us all winter long 
and not just one time on a weekend.”

Tara Brindley

“For us, the tourists that stop by are really just a bonus. We never close in the winter, we stay open all year long and we are really established with the locals. This is where they all come.”

Ms. Brindley said the program would make some exceptions for snowbirds and long-time summer residents who depart for warmer climes in winter.

“We’ve had some folks in that situation, so we are making some of those types of memberships, but capped at 25.”

And what happens when a hungry out-of-town visitor, languishing in a long line, and watching some get preferential treatment and skipping ahead, realizes they are on the outside of a private members club?

“I’ve told the wait and serving staff this won’t be on them, I’ll be here and ready to deal with situations as they come up,” said Ms. Brindley.

“I know it will ruffle some feathers with some people but we are happy with where we are at as a business and happy that people have embraced this idea and continue to support us.”

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 18 edition of The Picton Gazette
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