Our Story

From Ireland to Erieau

Our Story

OJ Vidler was born and raised in Erieau, but found himself stationed in Belfast, Ireland, as a member of the navy in the Second World War. It was here where he would meet Molly McCoy, his future bride. After the war, OJ was head of his own fishing tug, the EauJay. Strong hauls kept Molly busy cleaning the fish, and selling it to locals and tourists.

The Vidlers then purchased a grocery store, which is now our existing restaurant. On the beach behind, they added cottages and trailer spaces, giving the increasing tourists a place to stay. Molly’s home-cooked perch was a hit – and the couple decided to ride its positive response into additional entrepreneurial ventures. They bought adjacent property to their grocery store and transformed it into a small coffee shop. Later, it would become the SandBar, a friendly watering hole for locals and tourists alike.

Today, Molly and OJ’s Restaurant and Sandbar continue to serve the communities of Chatham-Kent as well as visitors from as far as Windsor, London, Toronto, and parts of the United States. Come experience our cozy restaurant hideaway and casual pub to see why we’re still going strong since 1966. We’re waiting for you.

Press Box

Get Hooked
by Vicky Weisse
Ontario’s Southwest Spring Guide

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THE MEN WHO SAVED ERIEAU
by Jim and Lisa Gilbert
Friday, July 18, 2014
Chatham Daily News

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An Erieau Tradition: The business started as a grocery store/coffee shop
By Jeffery Carter

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Today’s Farmer

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In Chatham-Kent, small is beautiful!
By Mike Keenan
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Welland Tribune

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