Legion Diner

Dean's Diner, located at the Southampton Legion Branch 155, opened for business January 16 and will operate five days a week for breakfast and lunch.

Hub Staff

Now offering a breakfast and lunch menu, the Royal Canadian Legion Southampton Branch 155 is taking advantage of their large kitchen facilities and has opened a diner.

Located at 13 Grosvenor Street North, next to the Southampton LCBO, the Legion diner opened for business January 16 and will be open five days a week, Wednesday and Thursday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Friday, Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The diner is called Dean's Diner after sous chef Dean Sands who also owns Sands Southside Fries in Port Elgin. “What we've done here at the Legion, because volunteers have a certain limited amount of time and we wanted to make sure things were consistent on a regular basis, we retained Dean and his team,” explained Southampton Legion President John Willetts. “It's a big kitchen here so it's a great opportunity to utilize it.”

Willetts said it was important for the diner to keep the Legion value that people expect. “Home cooking, almost like a church dinner quality of food, is what people come to expect,” he said. “The whole idea here is to bring back that mom's home cooking thing but on a regular basis.”

Unfortunately for opening day, the diner's chef Mitchell Admas was unavailable due to a vehicle accident involving a deer but Sands, along with cook Tyler Manary and server Wendy Hubertsok, were on hand to look after guests.

Sands said that all the meat and produce they used were purchased locally with Manary adding that everything at the diner was freshly made. “There's no frozen or dehydrated veggies, there's no frozen meat, it's all fresh meat," he said, adding that it's all 100% made from scratch.

For the first week or two the team will be cooking from what is listed on their menu. “Once we get everything established then we'll work on some different specials,” Manary said.

Willets said that the Southampton Legion has always tried to buy locally. “Funds that we generate here stay in the community and it will be the same how we do business,” he said. “The Southampton Legion is a community service organization where all the proceeds go back into our community; schools, hospital, museum, heritage and individuals and families in need.”

As some legions are losing members or are closing their doors, membership at the Southampton Legion is growing. “Southampton is becoming aware of the terrific social events we host and more importantly the community service work our volunteers perform right here in Southampton. They want to be a part of that," said Willetts adding that the diner is another good reason to come in and see what's going on at the "new" legion.


Diner sous chef Dean Sands (left) and cook Tyler Manary were busy preparing breakfast in the Southampton Legion kitchen January 16.

John Willetts

Southampton Legion President John Willetts is served a traditional breakfast by cook Tyler Manary.

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Dean's Diner's breakfast menu. Click to enlarge.

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Dean's Diner's lunch menu. Click to enlarge.