Known for its fish and chips, Fries & Co. has been a popular West End dining destination since 1974. Located at the corner of Chebucto Road and Connolly Road, consistency has been a key reason for its success.

 

“We didn’t really change too much,” says owner John Hilton, noting the menu hasn’t expanded significantly in the last 36 years.

 

It still features clams, scallops and fish and chips. Along the way, it added items such as chicken fingers, chowder and hamburgers.

 

The restaurant’s blend of friendly service in a casual atmosphere hasn’t changed either.

 

With minimal advertising, the restaurant was an immediate hit when it opened. “Business was pretty busy right from the very start,” says Hilton.


He attributes the immediate success to a number of reasons, one being that fish and chips restaurants had become a bit of a rarity in Halifax.


“There used to be one at almost every corner,” says Hilton.


He also insisted on using fresh ingredients, while there was an industry trend towards using frozen ones.


For Fries & Co. fans who have been away from Halifax, the restaurant is sometimes their first destination upon their return, says Hilton.


“It’s almost like a tradition,” he says.


Behind the fries


When Hilton graduated from Saint Mary’s University in 1974, there weren’t any “big job offers” waiting, so he started Fries & Co.


The location on Chebucto Road was a spot he travelled by on his way to university and it was vacant. Previously, it was a fish and chips restaurant, “even though it was really bad,” says Hilton.


When he opened Fries & Co., he made sure it had an open kitchen so people could see it was different from the previous restaurant.