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  • Hunter Cresswell

Comfort food served during strange times

By Hunter Cresswell During the unsure times of the COVID-19 pandemic, who couldn’t use a little comfort food? Zups, a new pick-up restaurant on Wakefield’s main drag, opened April 1 serving things like lasagna, pizza, tourtiere, duck confit, seasonal specials, and more.

Zups sous chef Joe O’Shaughnessy handing a to-go bag out the pick-up window of the new Wakefield restaurant. Hunter Cresswell photo
Zups sous chef Joe O’Shaughnessy handing a to-go bag out the pick-up window of the new Wakefield restaurant. Hunter Cresswell photo

“We’ve had a good month of sales, we’ve been really happy about it considering the pandemic,” said Brian Fewster, owner of Zups, as well as the Belvédère wedding venue in Edelweiss and the Wakefield Grand Hotel. Both had to shut down as a result of the pandemic. Zups executive chef Frank Jousselin is also the chef at Fewster’s other two businesses along with his sous chef Joe O’Shaughnessy. What used to be the commercial kitchen where the catered meals for the hotel and venue were prepared has, for the meantime, been taken over by Zups but it will be shared once the other businesses reopen. Before Fewster owned it, it was casse croût called Domino. Even before the pandemic kicked off, opening a restaurant is a risk, and now that risk is even more pronounced since restaurants must follow strict health and safety measures to remain open for only take-out or delivery service. Oddly, however, this has helped Zups. “[The pandemic] accelerated the plan. We’ve been talking about this for two years,” Jousselin said. Since Fewster’s other businesses are closed, he’s had more time to focus on their pick-up restaurant idea. “We always wanted this particular type of [touchless purchasing] system,” Fewster said. “We were kind of concerned about how to do that without annoying people and now it’s just the way it is.” When asked where the name of the business came from, Fewster smiled and said, “Oh, you mean, ‘What Zup with it?’” He then explained that it was a name he heard on television that’s fun and also skirts Quebec’s strict language laws. Fewster said he hopes to add things like burgers and ta