The restaurant business has been a family affair but this Calgary couple is ready for their next adventure

The Sorrentis are looking for the right person to take over their established smokehouse

By Krista Sylvester | March 2, 2022 |5:00 am

Paddy’s Barbecue and Brewery smokehouse owners Kerry, left, and Jordan Sorrenti are looking for someone to lease their business so they can retire after 40 years in the business.

Photo: Submitted

It’s been 40 years of hustling and bustling in the fast-paced food service industry for the Sorrentis and they’re ready to ride off into the sunset. 

The only catch: owners Jordan and Kerry Sorrenti need a new owner to take over the Paddy’s Barbecue and Brewery smokehouse so that they can “stop to smell the roses” and retire. 

“We’re definitely at the age where if we don’t start enjoying our lives, there won’t be a lot left,” Jordan tells Calgary Citizen. 

Paddy’s Barbecue isn’t the couple’s first venture, but it’s the one they came out of retirement to operate in 2019, taking over from their son. 

All in the family business 

Their first business, Sorrenti’s restaurant, was located in the historic Burns Building and was a big part of the early food scene in Calgary in the mid-’80s. Jordan got his start in the industry as a dishwasher when he was 13, and worked his way up ever since. 

“While we were doing that, we started catering to offices downtown. The reality back then was there was more money in catering, and we were in the restaurant business,” he explains, adding they closed the restaurant and just did catering for many years before retiring. 

In 2019, they came out of retirement to operate Paddy’s Barbecue and Brewery, which was originally designed to sell high-quality barbecue and beer along with catering services. 

“Being back in the restaurant business is fun because you got a heck of a lot more interaction with people [than catering],” Jordan says. 

That was pre-COVID, and then the pandemic forced the Sorrentis to stay out of retirement to protect and grow their business even during the slowest times in recent history for food service. Many pivots later and now they feel it’s time for someone else to sail the ship. 

But it can’t just be anyone

Jordan and Kerry own the building that Paddy’s Barbeque is located in and the 5,600-square-foot smokehouse comes with the necessary equipment, including a taproom, a large commercial kitchen, and a patio. 

“It’s not a tiny little hole in the wall. We’ve probably got more kitchen space than we have seating, so we’re looking for someone that has a passion for food, beer, or both,” he explains, adding it’s the perfect spot for someone looking to take over an established restaurant. 

“Paddy’s is more of a lifestyle than a job, and we need someone who will embrace the passion and enjoy feeding Calgary barbecue lovers and making quality craft beer.” 

Ready to live the next dream 

Over the years, the Sorrentis have seen so many changes in the industry. 

“It was nice to see the whole industry evolve over the years,” Jordan says, adding they’re ready to move on once they find the right fit to lease the business. 

While the establishment has had some “tire kickers”, they haven’t found anyone — yet, so until then, Paddy’s will continue to slow roast and smoke its meats each night. 

While Jordan says it’s a bittersweet moment in their lives, they’re ready to move on and enjoy a retirement full of travelling, even purchasing an RV trailer. 

“It’s not a luxury — we just want to have some fun and see the world.”

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Krista Sylvester

Managing Editor at Calgary Citizen

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