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A Pearl of a Restaurant in Ship Harbour


A few miles from Ship Harbour on either side of the highway; stand the signs for Family Fries restaurant. The signs have long since faded, and they don't tell you how far the restaurant is, or where exactly it's located. Stop by and say hi to Pearl  in Ship HarbourIn fact, if you don't know the Family Fries restaurant or Pearl Newcombe, the owner, you'll probably drive right by. That would be a mistake. You've missed some of the best home- cooked meals on Highway 7.

Signs aren't high on on the Pearl's shopping list right now, although she'd love to have new ones. That will come in due time. Right now, Pearl is just beginning to measure the success of 8 years of hard work. Finding herself divorced shortly after establishing the new restaurant 8 years ago, Pearl continued alone, working 140 hour, 7 day work weeks. She was cook, chief bottle washer, kitchen help and head waitress. She still is.

For Pearl, a great example of Eastern Shore perserverance, the long hours, plus her self-determination and a friendly personality are starting to pay off.

Family Fries is a place many Shore folk stop at on a regular basis. Locals, travelling sales reps, bus and truck drivers, and a few savvy tourists don't have any trouble finding Pearl's place. Most of the patrons that enter Pearl's front door are greeted by name. If she doesn't know you, she will by the time you leave, and if you don't come back for another few years, rest assured that Pearl will still greet you by name when you come back in to sample the daily special or some of Pearl's excellent fish and chips, chowders or home baked goodiesMay I Take Your Order? .

Pearl was a bookkeeper at the beginning of her working life but she found the job stressful. She was always taking the work home with her. A career change found Pearl working for Versafoods at a Dalhousie student cafeteria. It was here that she first became interested in the restaurant business. Later, when Jeddore Diner's Mildred Lyons asked Pearl to be her cook, Pearl wasn't too sure she would like it. However, once she started she found cooking for people suited her just fine. From Jeddore Diner, Pearl went to work at Captain Todds which is now Toddy's in Jeddore.

While working at Toddy's, Pearl opened her own chip wagon outside her home in Lower Ship Harbour. Already no stranger to long hours, Pearl ran the chip wagon for customers who arrived by the road, or by water, for four years, while working a full week at Captain Todds.

Eight years ago, Pearl opened her new establishment in Ship Harbour. Family Fries was given its name by her son Brian who was a fan of the popular television show, Family Ties. She didn't want the place to be called Pearl's because as she says, she's not an egotistical person. To the locals, who make up the bulk of her clientele, the everyday name for Family Fries is just that - Pearl's. She said she still likes the name Family Fries, but sometimes it is misconstrued. People think that she just serves fried foods.

Nothing could be further from the truth, as anyone who's eaten at Pearl's will attest to. Pearl specializes in seafood, and chowders, and her daily specials are just like Mom used to make: corn beef and cabbage (South Shore Boiled Dinner), salt cod and pork scraps (Dutch Mess), home baked beans and fish cakes (Saturday Night Eastern Shore Dinner), and sometimes, not so traditional dishes like Chicken Tetrazinni -- all good, and all home made.

Signs or no signs, Pearl's or Family Fries... a good little restaurant run by a hard working lady is located at the Head of Ship Harbour on Nova Scotia's Highway 7. Next time you're headed down (or up) the shore, stop in, introduce yourself and chow down. In fact, for all you weekend travellers, why not pick up Friday night's dinner on your way 'down', or Sunday night's dinner on your way 'up' ? Pearl loves to cook, but still hates bookkeeping.

Call Ahead for Pick Up Orders

1 - 902 - 845- 2042
Email Pearl

Tell her Highway 7 sent you (maybe we'll get a free order of Pearl's fried clams - yum). Any sign painters out there who'd like to donate their time for some free promo on Highway 7 Ezine?
Shhh... don't tell Pearl.



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All contents © 1995 - 2017 Highway7.com unless otherwise attributed
Highway7 E-zine, a publication of Hatch Media, is an electronic journal with a focus on commercial, historical, cultural and ecological issues concerning the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia in Canada. Topics include a growing resource of currently more than 300 articles. More articles and image galleries are added frequently as new material is brought to our attention. With Highway7.com, our primary aim is to serve, inform and reflect the rural communities on the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia, as well as to acquaint new residents, visitors, tourists, and investors with the special beauty and enormous potential of our region.
Last Change: 01-Feb-2017