Can the Miller’s Oven become hot again?

Or, after thirty years, are the Oven doors closing for good?

The Miller’s Oven, a volunteer-run tea room and restaurant in Manotick in south Ottawa, is slated to close.

It was created by seniors, for seniors, and for years was a popular place for breakfast, lunch or coffee.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors says they made the tough decision based on declining revenues. “Particularly in the last 15-16 months,” says Jim Stewart. “It’s been a big struggle for us financially for sure.”

Stewart says they approached the City of Ottawa for a loan but were turned down.

Located in a City-owned heritage building in the heart of the village, the Miller’s Oven was started by a group of seniors as a place where fellow seniors could meet, network, or simply socialize.

Stewart speculates the changing demographic of Manotick is playing a role. The old clientele is getting too old, and younger patrons just aren’t coming. They don’t take debit or credit cards at the Miller’s Oven, and it’s not open in the evenings.

Ironically, the place was packed over the lunch hour today.

News of the imminent closure, it seems, has rallied patrons.

“I’ve been coming for over 15 years,” says Lorraine Leblond. “It’s so friendly and the food is good.”

Many diners, say they are willing to pay higher prices if that’s what it takes. Some have even offered to make a donation. “They need to do something to make more money,” says Mike Taylor.

Jim Stewart welcomes the donations but he says the Miller’s Oven needs a more long-term solution. He says the Board is open to proposals. “I mean, we’re hopeful. We’re not certain how it will all unfold.”

If nothing changes, the Miller’s Oven will close at the end of November.