Salute takes over Kingsway Deluxe — but will it keep the arch?

An iconic building in Sudbury is about to change.

The Deluxe Hamburger location on the Kingsway has been purchased by the owners of Salute, a local coffee shop.

Owner Tania Renelli says the new location will feature drive-thru service, similar to its South End café.

“[Drive-thru service] has turned out to be incredibly valuable during a pandemic because we can keep it open during lockdown and continue to safely serve customers,” she said.

“We’ve been looking at expanding into New Sudbury for a number of years now, and it’s just taken until now for us to be able to find the right location.”

This familiar fast food restaurant in Sudbury has been bought by a local coffee shop, Salute. The new owner says they will not be serving the iconic “chicken on a bun” sandwich, but people will be able to get their fix at the two other Deluxe locations in the city. (Tony King/Facebook)

Renelli says there is some trepidation around starting up another location during a pandemic.

“It’s terrifying … we’re certainly going into this with an abundance of caution. We currently have a location downtown that was closed for six months in 2020. And it’s not been easy,” she said.

“We’re certainly aware of our financial losses when it comes to our downtown location. And we’re trying to mitigate that by pivoting in the face of this pandemic and looking at a new location that will allow us the convenience of the drive thru.”

The fate of Salute’s downtown location is still up in the air.

“We did open up in 2020 from September through December, which is typically high season for us and unfortunately wasn’t profitable for us,” Renelli said.

“As long as the school of architecture students are not in class and the majority of the working professionals downtown are not in the office, I think it’s proving to be a challenge for us. But we’re just kind of in a wait and see situation. Vaccines are coming … a bright light on the horizon. So we’re optimistic and hopeful that come summer, maybe into fall, that things will be turning around.”

As for the well-known one-arch sign that is featured outside of Deluxe Hamburger locations, Renelli says she’s routinely asked about its fate.

“We’re currently in discussion with a signage company to see what we can do about maintaining the arch and how it fits in with our existing branding and trying to pay homage — at the same time as doing our own thing,” she said.

“We have a load of appreciation for Deluxe and the history and the heritage that comes along with that building. We have nothing but respect for it. We’re huge fans, certainly. And we don’t necessarily want to remove any of that. We just don’t want that to be a vacant building for the next number of years.”

The new Salute location is slated to open by May 1.

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