Mistissini residents flocked to the grand opening of the new restaurant on the first day of spring, March 20.

Approximately 500 clients came to congratulate the owners and family members of the late Charlie Brien.

Previous to this opening, 120 of Charlie’s friends were invited by the family to celebrate a memorial dinner March 8. It was a very memorable evening. The reading of Charlie’s accomplishments by his son-in-law, (daughter Elizabeth’s husband) Joseph Gunner, and service to the community that he loved, gave light throughout the evening as friends came forward to share their memories with family and friends. There were tears but also laughter.

The guests sat in new arrays of bright colours and the smell of freshness that comes with the opening of a new building. It held memories and if one wanted to let oneself, one could feel the presence of Charlie’s spirit and could almost hear him say, “Has everyone been served? Don’t forget anyone! These are our friends and they are hungry. Feed them!” This was Charlie’s style and this was his life: to serve others.

His daughter Janie spoke on how all of this was possible because of all the people who attended. “Your patronage to our past restaurants made this possible for us,” she said, and thanked the guests for coming.

The family also thanked Henry Baribeau for his contribution to the organization of the new restaurant.

The name of the restaurant, A.D.E.L.S., was formulated by Annie Iserhoff, Janie’s sister. Still in the hearts and memories of old friends we will still think of it as Charlie Brien’s place. The Adels will be the extension of their late father’s place. So be patient with those of us who have been around for a while. Did I forget to mention, we ate C. Brien style, chicken and ribs, roast beef and homemade apple pie!

There was a traffic jam on a later night that I went by the restaurant. As I walked into the restaurant, it bustled with activity as waitresses rushed about to serve the many clients. Like the old days, it is still the busiest place in town!