Council Votes Out Chilly Willy’s


If Jody Wilson, owner of Chilly Willy’s Bar and Grill thought council would have his back Monday night, he thought wrong.

The local entrepreneur who operates a restaurant at the John Rhodes Centre will have to shut his doors May 1st, the end of the extension on a lease he had with the city. The original lease expired in September of 2014 but he was granted the time to the end of the current hockey season.

As part of an Request For Proposal (RFP) for the city, Wilson along with another local operator bid for the contract so did an established Sudbury firm – Two Pizzas and Wings who won the contract. The winning bid projected $58,000 in revenue to the city plus municipal taxes compared to second place and current operator (Wilson) bid, based on actual accounts of roughly $35,000 plus municipal taxes.

“I believe in the RFP process” said Susan Myers, “but a new operator can promise anything at this point and time, it concerns me that a new operator can come into this community and may in fact get no where near the same level of sales, for the fact they don’t have the relationship that Mr. Wilson has had with his clientele” Myers, councillor for ward two and ward mate Terry Sheehan voted against the staff recommendation. “I can’t in good conscience put a local business man out of business to a person like Mr. Wilson who has worked as hard as he has”

Ward 3 Matt Shoemaker disagreed saying “I think we have an obligation to the tax payers of Sault Ste. Marie that we’re getting the best deal for the municipality”

Ward 3’s Judy Hupponen asked why the Sudbury outlet would project higher revenues than Chilly Willy’s

Nick Apostle, Commissioner, Community Services recommended Two Pizzas and Wings to council, said the new operator is well established in other municipalities and has the experience, mostly however the decision was financial.

The rest of attending council including Mayor Provenzano voted in favour. Two Pizzas and Wings will also pay up to $100,000 in renovations to the space, split with the city.


  1. We need more pizza and wings here like we need more pot holes in the streets. the city is basically wasting 50k on pizza!!!! what are they up to? This sounds legit kick out a local ssm business owner for an out-of-towner. I for one won’t support this new establishment. Chilly Willy should reopen elsewhere. I will support that.

  2. Disappointed:( I really think local people local jobs should have come first. It should have been more accessible to local establishments…..more ….many more bids would have come in!! Not always about money…..principals..principals!!!!

  3. So the winning bid is potentially $23,000 more per year, but the City’s share of renovations is $50,000. That’s a little over a 2 year payback… Wonder how long the lease is for, and how long a pizza joint from Sudbury will last in a highly competitive market.

    • Excellent point. And I’d like to think that city council was genius in the decision to have someone from outside come in and dump a pile of cash into renovations. Then when they close up after less than a year because they miscalculated we can tender it again, nice and shiny new.

  4. I would just like to point out that only the “Chilly Willy” location has been altered…the business itself still exists IF the owner wishes to relocate. He is not shut down…just the location.
    I think that this is an opportunity in the making.

  5. what’s next city council? another hardware store? or another lube shop? or another Italian joint? that’s all that seems to come out of you people. How bout this everyone?! Let’s all vote these assholes put of course cilantro come voting time.

    • As much as you have right to this opinion, and you aren’t entirely wrong, I wish everyone would see this from the point of view of the owner. I believe it’s been an on-going battle with the city about the much needed renovations – that being said, with no promise of renewing the lease, you cannot expect that Jody was going to throw his own money into a place that he did not know would be his for the years to come. Try and keep that in mind. Along with the (now) new owners, Jody was as well willing to pay for renovations given that the lease was renewed.

    • As much as you have a right to this opinion and you aren’t entirely wrong, I wish everyone would see this from the point of view of the owner. I believe it’s been an ongoing battle with the city about the much needed renovations. That being said, with no promise of a renewal – you cannot expect that Jody would throw his own money into a place that he did not know would be his for the years to come. Try and keep this in mind. Along with the now new owners, Jody was as well, willing to pay for the renovations giving the lease for the restaurant was renewed.

    • The guy didn’t just take over the resturant yesterday. He has had more than substantial time to do any repairs. The paint on the wall has never been changed and the staff does not even wear uniforms. Before the city hands over a new lease there should be some light at the end of the tunnel and here there is nothing. I like going to establishments that are sports bars that feel like sports bars.

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