Bringing People Together With Food


People are naturally social beings and nothing brings people together like food.

It has been that way for generations as families and friends come together for celebrations, dinners, brunches, coffee, drinks with the boys, drinks with the girls or shedding the winter layers to enjoy the patios in the warmer weather.

Besides, when taking advantage of all the hospitality offerings within LIAM’s five commercial properties, there’s no need for meal planning, shopping, food prep, cooking or the dreaded pile of dishes for those who only have the two-handed type of dishwasher.

LIAM built and designed East Village, Tamarack Village, River Station, Watersedge, River Pointe Shops and the Siena/Cortona buildings.

All are managed by LIAM.

With more than a dozen eateries to choose from, residents have a smorgasbord of selection for whatever gastronomic delights strike their fancy.

“Food for a multicultural society is important for the mosaic of each shopping centre and we have strived to get that mix each time,” explains Liam de Silva, a key player in the LIAM management team.

“LIAM Hotels & Suites is our brand of hotels where all our rooms are suites. They are located in the areas that have complimentary food and other convenient services.”

When patrons enjoy a dish at one of these diverse eateries offered in the LIAM properties, they can forget that each tasty bite of food can tell a story … whether of fields of wheat or apples picked from an orchard …. a butcher seasoning cuts of steak …. meat being prepared appropriately for the Halal designation  … the mixing and rolling of dough that makes yummy pizzas and desserts.

Food can be a complete sensory experience from the aromas wafting from the dish to the pleasing presentation to the mingling of flavours when that first bite is taken.

How many times have we uttered an appreciative ‘mmmm’ on enjoying a forkful of food that exceeds our expectations as all the flavours blend and uttered “This is so good!”

With the hectic schedules of today’s families, as children are whisked off to various after school and weekend extra-curricular activities, meals can remain a family event, but a family event on the go. Thank goodness for fast food which can be just as enjoyable as those sit down dinners that last a couple hours as dishes are made fresh and brought to the table with bowls and plates that encourage sharing.

De Silva points out that LIAM is excited to be able to offer such a diverse choice for eateries within their developments.

“The River Station District has the inner city vibe that big cities have and is anchored by the Townhall Public House offering craft beers and food to match. The Cedars Bakery has all that is Lebanese with the exquisite food that is both generous and abundant.

“Food is life, and sharing it is one of the great joys of being alive.”

The Eat Clean Grill has packages of healthy portions that have hit the spot with McMurrayites. The soon to open Ramen Ramen is to serve up  freshly cooked noodles. Ramen is a Japanese cultural icon popular now in North America.

“Ah, Pizza Hut,” continues de Silva. “Another staple take-out and quick-serve dish.

“Avenue Coffee House is a locally based New York-style ‘drop in for a latte’ place that is gaining popularity with its desserts.”

The new Atlas meat shop at Watersedge will soon have cooked snacks to take away.

Still on the waterfront, but at the other end, is the River Pointe Shops which is home to All Nations Foods and Dominos Pizza. Let’s not forget the ever-popular McMurray Newfoundlanders Bar & Restaurant.

Tamarack Village has the new and improved McDonalds with the perennial favourites including fresh salads and all day breakfasts.

Spices Indian Restaurant offers the best in Indian cuisine for shrimp masala, beef kebabs and more. Yoshi is a Japanese restaurant serving bento boxes at lunch and the popular yakitori chicken skewer. If the heat proves a little much, it’s just a stop next door to Flavors Convenience Store for some ice cream to chill out. Those looking for their daily dose of veg and a little more can visit Freshii.

It’s across the bridge and into East Village for the Canadian Tim Hortons, always popular for a quick coffee and take out bakery items known to all. Rounding out the selection is Mucho Burrito for a little Mexican and the favourite East Village Pub & Eatery.

Then it’s over to the Siena building where the New African variety store will be selling exotic groceries and foods from Africa to serve Fort McMurray’s growing cosmopolitan community.

De Silva offers an honourable mention to Uncle Bill’s convenience store in Thickwood where it still sells subs and ice cream; all sorts of tasty items, for the younger generation.

Born and raised in Fort McMurray, de Silva recalls that Uncle Bill’s and Jomaa’s Pizza were his favourite places to go when hungry while growing up here.

“Uncle Bill’s was a one-stop shop. It had everything you were looking for when you were a kid,” he remembers. “The subs were really special; not much to them, but they tasted good. Jomaa’s was the best donairs in Alberta.”