Downtown London - News

September 2018

  • The Works keeps embracing its downtown London roots

    September 27, 2018

    The Works keeps embracing its downtown London roots


    By Sean Meyer


    The old saying is, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” but it appears that rings true in downtown London too — at least it does for Kris Hunt.


    Kris was born in London and lived in the city for several years before growing up in Peterborough and heading off to Dalhousie University. He returned to the Forest City to open up a franchise of gourmet burger bistro, The Works.


    Now in his eighth year, Kris admits that while his goal was always to return to London, the reality of the experience has been just what he hoped for.


    “It’s a great city. It’s a sports town. I really love this city. It’s a university town with a wide variety of people living here. Most of all, I wanted to live here,” he said. “I’d say the city’s embraced us fantastically. I don’t know if it has been better than I thought it would be, but it has definitely been what I really hoped it would be.”


    When looking for where he wanted to set up his business, Kris is quick to acknowledge there was really only one choice for him.


    When the space at 145 King St. came available, he admits to being “pretty happy” because he was excited about the change he saw coming to the downtown. After chatting with staff at Downtown London, and taking his own feelings into account, he knew the right opportunity had just presented itself.


    “I wanted to be downtown for sure. Downtown in any city can be the heart, the pulse, of any city. I think the direction of this end of downtown was going to be it and it was going to be more so in the future,” he said. “Having the Budweiser Gardens nearby doesn’t hurt. I know it is one of the top 10 venues for bookings in North America, so that’s a big thing.”


    Kris said he has “loved every minute” of being in London, of being a business owner here, and of getting to know all the regular patrons who has come through the door to enjoy not just a burger, but a gourmet experience.


    Although The Works enjoys a steady business, Kris said there is an opportunity to have a life outside of the restaurant.


    There is a balance that is needed, both in the restaurant industry, and as the owners of a small business, and he couldn’t be happier having found his.


    “There’s nothing better than being here when it’s busy because then I get to see a lot of people I know. I can also make sure we’re operating soundly when it really counts,” Kris said. “There are a lot of ups and downs. I keep impeccable records, so I can look back year over year and know what to expect.”


    When he’s not working, the self-described “big hockey fan,” can be found either playing the sport he loves, or watching it.


    He also enjoys hanging out with friends and just being social, which makes sense given his business.


    Perhaps ironically, he and his wife also enjoy going out for a good meal — one he didn’t have a hand in preparing.


    “We like to go to dinner. I love going somewhere for dinner, it’s a great experience,” Kris said. “I’ve been in the restaurant industry for over 10 years, before that, you didn’t appreciate what goes into it. Now, I can appreciate it a lot more.”


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