Mornings can be hectic for Hari Srinivasan, owner of ReRun’s Hari’s Famous Spring Rolls. Getting the kids ready for school and day care, trips to the market and butcher for the day’s supplies, delivering across town when the lunch rush hits... and somewhere in there, he needs to find time to roll a couple hundred of the handmade spring rolls that have put his restaurant on the map.
“I couldn’t possibly count the number of rolls I’ve made in my life,” Hari recalls. He gives his trademark, welcoming laugh. ReRun’s, now in its fourth year of operation, has been a labour of love for Hari. The small restaurant serves up burgers, poutines, and sandwiches – but the big draw is the variety of handmade spring rolls, prepared in-house on a daily basis. They’re based on a family recipe that Hari has grown up with his whole life.
His mother, Larraine, operated an eatery at the Sarnia Farmer’s Market for years. When they were younger, Hari and his brother would be up at 3 a.m. to help get the place ready for the day’s business. This is where the love of cooking, inspired by Filipino tradition, began for him. Larraine passed away in 2005, and Hari carries on the tradition now in loving tribute to his mother. A photograph of her smiling face greets you in the restaurant proper.
The menu provides options for traditionalists and the adventurous – but the only gluten-free option you’ll find is the garden salad. ReRun’s has joined the list of popular destinations for workers in the plants, eager for a lunch option outside of the usual fare. If you’re looking to feed a hungry horde of guests or co-workers, it’s a good idea to order ahead and get your rolls by the dozen.
“That’s one of the advantages [of spring rolls], is that they’re portable,” Hari says. “They fit in your hand and you’re good to go. That might be why ReRun’s is such a hit at summer festivals in Sarnia. At this year’s Artwalk, Hari estimates that they sold several thousand spring rolls on Saturday alone.
Look for their mobile station at Jazz in the Village in McGibbon Park, September 14th and 15th.
The future looks bright for ReRun’s, even as local demographics change. For one, there is the ongoing process of moving high school students from Great Lakes Secondary’s current location. That will affect daily lunch-hour business, but won’t be a crushing blow for the restaurant. The revitalization of Mitton Village will hopefully bring foot traffic back to the area, and the word is spreading on social media every day.
“They say that it takes five years to establish yourself,” Hari reflects, “to get an understanding of what your business will look like.” He is happy with the upward trend, and remains grateful to Sarnians for their patronage. It’s cliche to say he’s on a roll – but it’s true!
ReRun’s Hari’s Famous Spring Rolls can be found at 308 Wellington St., and you can call (519) 491-5692 to order ahead. They’re open Monday to Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Catch up with them on Facebook, and on Instagram at harisfamousspringrolls.