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Of food, technology, movies, music, and travel—or whatever else strikes my fancy

Ode to Verses

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Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got

Takin’ a break from all your worries sure would help a lot

Wouldn’t you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name

And they’re always glad you came

For Norm Peters, that place was Boston bar Cheers. For Jean and me, it was Verses Restaurant.

Now, a white-linen, four-diamond restaurant likely seems a curious place to name as somewhere so comfortable, you can forget all your worries and just revel in the companionship. Yet, that’s how it was, The waiters may have been in suits, but they were never stuffy. The menu may have contained items you’d never heard of, but they were always delighted to explain it to you. And they had a remarkable ability to remember you, and your name.

But after 11 years in business, Verses is closing its doors as of September 27.

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The news was a shock. This was our place. Our New Year’s Eve destination. The one spot my parents always want to go when they visit. The place where we catch up with friends. Where we have Christmas parties, celebrate anniversaries, partake in multi-course and surprise dining experiments.

We went in for one last dinner. Waiter Ken joked about people’s reaction: “People keep saying, ‘Where will I go now?’ Excuse me if I can’t sympathize too much, given that I just lost my job!” Hmm, good point.

But last two weeks or not, the food and service quality was impeccable as always.

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What wasn’t quite so usual were the many conversations about what other restaurants the various staff might be ending up at, the promise that we would be emailed everyone’s final destinations, and the round of hugs for everyone at the end—along with some bonus chocolate mint truffles.

The fact is, there aren’t any other restaurants in Kitchener-Waterloo that offer the same level of creative, high-quality cuisine as Verses.

But it isn’t the food I’m going to miss the most.

Gallery of Verses photos through the years

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