Lees say farewell with "The Last Polka" - Dec. 21, 2017
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Jim and Lois Lee will be closing Cinnamon Jim’s in Brussels for good on Dec. 30, but plan to go out with a bang with what they’re calling The Last Polka.
The restaurant has been open for years – a staple on Brussels’ main street – and Jim said that being “closer to 70 than 60” he felt it was time to close the doors and focus on some other priorities.
Jim, an avid musician, said he has lots of music that he wants to write and create, while Lois has plenty of artistic and crafty hobbies she wants to take on and they just can’t do it while working at the restaurant on a daily basis.
Live music has always been a large part of what the Lees have done with the business over the years, so Jim said it felt right to host a concert on their last day open for business.
That’s why they’ve decided to host The Last Polka at the restaurant in its upstairs event space.
The Last Waltz is, of course, a reference to the famous final concert by The Band and the corresponding film of the same name directed by Martin Scorsese. The show featured cameo performances by Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Muddy Waters and Joni Mitchell among others.
Lee said that since “The Last Waltz” was taken, he’d name the event The Last Polka.
He has put the word out to many friends and family members, as well as musicians who have played the Brussels location over the years and he says the response has been overwhelming. He expects the day will be one to remember for the village.
The Last Polka will run at the restaurant from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 30, the restaurant’s final day.
As for the business, Jim and Lois say they’ll still very much be a part of the Brussels community. They still own the building and hope it will find new life, whether it be another café or a different business for Brussels in the future. This comes after years of trying to sell the business, but to no avail.
Jim said he has lost two of his brothers in the last few years and he often serves customers who are in their 70s. Knowing that he isn’t that far from being in his 70s helped spur both he and Lois onto this decision.
As for the community, Jim said he will miss seeing many of the people he sees on a day-to-day basis now, but knows it’s time to walk away.
He said he has always felt supported throughout Brussels. Whether it be Huron East Council, the residents of the village or those working for other local agencies like The Citizen. He has never felt unsupported in the community, which has helped him and Lois keep going all these years.
The Last Polka runs from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 30 at the restaurant and the Lees invite anyone and everyone to attend.