The Works Glebe - Wade

The Works Glebe - Wade

The Works Glebe

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580 Bank Street, Ottawa, Ontario

Interview: Nikki Gillingham, Blue Whale Communications

Photography: Marianne Rothbauer, Rothbauer Studio


Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started.

I didn’t set out to have a career in the restaurant business. After finishing school I set my sites on an acting career while taking acting classes and pursuing the dream of being an actor I ended up working in restaurants like most aspiring actors bartending and waiting tables. It was a very enjoyable time in my life, I lived in Vancouver and Toronto. I got married when I was 24 and a week after getting married my wife and I moved to Los Angeles to be in the heart of the entertainment business. It was a great experience, I continued to study acting while also doing improv and sketch comedy The L.A. Connection Comedy Theatre. Needless to say the weather was amazing and I did not miss the Canadian winters. After spending all our money we decided to move back home to Canada. A few years later my first daughter was born and then my second daughter came along two years after her. While I loved acting it was hard to give my family all the things I wanted to while pursuing acting so I decided to give it up and concentrate on being a the good provider that my family deserved to have. Just about every restaurant I worked at asked me to be a supervisor or shift manager so with that experience under my belt and the enjoyment I get from dealing with new people each day. The restaurant business just seemed like the right move for me.

Why burgers?

Just about everybody loves a good burger and I am no exception. I had actually never eaten at The Works before I started with the company. We do serve up the best burgers in my mind opinion and the atmosphere of our shops is something I love very much. We play classic rock and blues music and in my shops we play it loud. There is nothing like spending your day working along getting to listen to the best music ever made. It makes my day and I love to hear the guests tell me how much they enjoy it.

Are you ever shocked by some of the topping combinations?

I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t see a topping combination that doesn’t shock me. As we know taste is subjective so what one person may think is a masterpiece of topping combinations another may see it as something they wouldn’t eat for a million dollars. I have seen many of both cases.


Running a restaurant is often said to be one of the toughest things to do well. What’s something you’ve learned along the way that helps make it easier?

I certainly agree with the statement that running a restaurant is a tough thing to do well. That is one of the things I like the most about doing it. I have always wanted to be successful at something that is hard to do. Things that I have learned along the way that help me? Build a strong team, while a great restauranteur can help carry your business if you don’t have a great team behind you will never be able to be successful for a long period of time. Another thing that as helped me is to never take anything that is said personally. People really seem to enjoy being critical of restaurants and with social media these days there are a endless amount of outlets for them to do it in. So just go to work each day and give it your all to put out the best food you can in the best atmosphere you can and be proud of your work. 

What do you enjoy most about running a restaurant?

What do I enjoy best about running a restaurant? Each day is its own beast. They are never the same you will have all kinds of issues pop up and being the one putting out the fires and making sure the day goes smooth is very rewarding. Most days, Lol. I always enjoy meeting new people and talking to the guests. 

What’s your favourite Works burger?

I have tried many combinations some I have made myself that were definitely not good choices but my go to is the Nacho Libre but I do add 4 strips of bacon to it, that puts it over the top. 


Be honest - do you eat a burger every day?

No. But I would definitely eat 7 a week. Even after spending a long day that the shop I often find myself on the way home from Ottawa to Kingston going through the drive thru of well many other burger places that will remain nameless :)

What’s it like to be a part of the Glebe business community?

The Glebe is a very interesting part of Ottawa as a community they show great pride in being from the Glebe everyone really seems to love the area and it definitely shows. 

Favourite place to eat in Ottawa when you’re not craving a burger?

Between the restaurant in Kingston and the one in the Glebe I don’t have very much free time but I do enjoy being with my girls, Maron is now 14 and in high school.  She goes to the same high school I did and I love hearing her stories about what’s going on at school it really brings me back to a great part of my life. Willow is 12 and very active. I am currently coaching her basketball team. As for myself I love baseball and play in a mixed softball league with my friends most of whom I have been friends with since high school and we have a party after the game every Friday in the summer it is definitely good for my soul. 

ChelsDrawsYou - Chels

ChelsDrawsYou - Chels

This Is Healthful - Cheryl

This Is Healthful - Cheryl