About the Owners
Robert Devlin’s son, Christopher, began to pursue his interest in the culinary arts at a very young age.
Beginning with bussing tables and washing dishes at The Heritage Inn, Chris moved on to waiting tables and finally to what was to be his greatest love … assisting the Chef. With the encouragement of his family, Chris decided to pursue his own Chef’s Apprenticeship. He began a 3 year program at George Brown College and apprenticed under Joseph Von Lanthen at the Constellation Hotel in Toronto. Chris graduated in 1985 and spent the next 5 years travelling and working as a Chef across North America, including California, Vancouver and Florida. Chris discovered many innovative dishes and food preparation techniques on his journey, preparing him for his ultimate dream…opening his own restaurant.
On August 8, 1990, Chris fulfilled that dream, by opening Devlin’s Country Bistro. Where else, but in the same building that the Devlin family had prospered in for over 100 years in Mt. Pleasant, Ont.
On July 18 th , 1991, Chris welcomed his eldest son, Ryan, into the world. The first 4 years of Ryan’s life would be spent living above the restaurant that his parents operated, relying on the chefs, servers and close family friends to baby sit. The first years of his life were mostly spent in a high chair, being fed to keep quiet, quickly developing his passion for food. On his off days from kindergarten and on weekends, he could be found peeling shrimp, playing with flour or making concoctions with a small food processor in the kitchen.
As years went on, despite Chris’ encouragement to be a doctor or do anything except for the restaurant industry, Ryan was resilient. He began catering at 11 years old and started working full time at another high volume restaurant at 13. All throughout high school, he continued this job and catered for Chris on weekends and days off. While attending university in London, Ryan worked at a restaurant throughout the week but always returned home on weekends to cater. He finished his education at France Business School, in Amiens, France, before moving home with hopes of continuing the Bistro’s success and operating as the fifth generation of family business in the same building.
Ryan has spent the past few years, expanding his horizons while operating Devlin’s Advocate, downtown Brantford, amongst managing the Bistro. In December of 2018, Ryan & Chris decided to sell the Brantford restaurant in order to focus on the Bistro and ever growing catering business. Now their minds combine with their chefs to create continental and local inspired cuisine to be served in an upscale, casual environment by their loyal and charming servers. An approach has been taken to the menu design, focusing on serving locally sourced and purveyed products in conjunction with premium quality imported ingredients to ensure every satisfaction is met.
You can find their balanced dishes served at the restaurant in Mount Pleasant, just 10 minutes south of Brantford, or contact either of them to have your next celebration catered.
Our Catering Services
Contact your hosts Chris & Ryan Devlin for your next celebration.
We strive to provide an exceptional meal with outstanding service whether it be in your home or ours. Catering is our specialty!
About the Bistro
A Taste of History
This former combined general store, post office and residence has been an enduring fixture and meeting spot in Mount Pleasant since being built c1834 by Russell and Julietta Sturgis Hardy. It is the only survivor of a once thriving commercial section of the village.
The building is significant as the birthplace of Arthur Sturgis Hardy, distinguished lawyer, legislator and 4th Premier of Ontario (1896-1899), who was born here during the Rebellions of 1837. Village lore is that at 1:00 a.m. on December 14, 1837 troops commanded by Col. Allan McNab marched through Mount Pleasant en route from Brantford to Scottland in pursuit of rebels led by Dr. Charles Duncombe from Burford who had gathered there. When McNab’s company got to Mount Pleasant there was a light in a bedroom over the Hardy store so a suspicious McNab detailed a party to search the premises for conspirators. Russell Hardy answered the knock and invited the Colonel in to meet a newly-born son, Arthur Sturgis Hardy. Hardy seemed literally to have been born into the ranks of Liberalism, destined to enter the Ontario Legislature on the Reform (Liberal) ticket in 1873, again meeting Col. McNab who was there as a Tory member.
John and Sarah Devlin, natives of Ireland, came to Brant County in 1863 and took up farming. George F. Devlin, one of 8 siblings, became the first of four generations of Devlins connected to this site when he returned from Upper Canada College (Toronto) to clerk in the old Hardy store which he purchased in 1879. His brothers Hugh and Robert helped in the store in the early years; Robert later established his own store in Brantford. George set down strict policies to ensure the continued success of Devlin’s General Store, with interest of 8% per annum charged on overdue accounts. George’s son Edwin J. Devlin came next, setting up a post office in the back when he became Postmaster in 1925. The business prospered and Edwin passed it on to his son Robert C. who operated it until 1990 when his son Chris, the current owner, who had been interested in the culinary arts at a very young age, fulfilled his dream of opening his own restaurant.
With its high gables and upper storey arched window centre front, the building is Ontario vernacular Neo-Gothic in style although now with some features obscured by alterations and without its characteristic graceful bracketed verandah which once wrapped around the front and side. Gables which now overlook the parking lot originally faced a garden enclosed by a picket fence. The north side is interesting as the wall bends to accommodate the alignment of the old Mill Road (now Burtch Road) which was a route to the Perrin Mill farther east.
The Devlin family has prospered here in this landmark building for over 125 years and continues today a Mount Pleasant tradition of offering a warm welcome and hospitality to all.