A fixture of Osoyoos re-opens after major flood damage

Smitty’s family restaurant has been on Osoyoos’s Main Street for 47 years

One of Osoyoos’s favourite family restaurants is re-opening Wednesday, Feb. 16 after being forced to close following a major flood in December 2021.

“We are so excited to be back. I can’t emphasize enough how thankful we are to all the local businesses that came to our rescue,” said Smitty’s restaurant owner Wendy Herle.

Smitty’s suffered a major flood when the pipes froze during that December cold snap that saw temperatures drop below -20 C.

“It was a nightmare. The ceiling fell in and our walk-in freezer was completely ruined. If it wasn’t for Joe’s Plumbing getting us a new walk-in freezer we wouldn’t have been able to be open.”

Smitty’s is a fixture in Osoyoos, serving up everybody’s favourite breakfasts, mimosas, lunches and dinners for over 47 years.

Family-run, Smitty’s is where the locals gather and tourists line up in the summers.

An Osoyoos Smitty’s breakfast will see coffee pots on every table. (Contributed)

An Osoyoos Smitty’s breakfast will see coffee pots on every table. (Contributed)

Smitty’s is one of the few restaurants in the area that is open year-round. That was until the unexpected flood.

“We could not have done it without the help of these amazing businesses and people in our community: Sunrise Restoration, Joe’s Plumbing, Balogh Electric, Osoyoos Golf Course and our amazing staff in our Smitty’s family,” said Christopher Lee Fraser, manager of Smitty’s and son-in-law to Herle. “We have missed everyone’s smiling faces in our restaurant and are super excited to see all of you.”

Herle and family took ownership in 2005 and have never looked back, making Smitty’s even more family-friendly and fun.

Prior to COVID, families could enjoy asking each other trivia questions using the Trivial Pursuit cards put on every table.

Asked if those cards are coming back on the table, Herle replied: “That’s my dream.”

“The trivia cards are definitely going back on the tables when it’s safe to do so.”

“We found that the trivia made families put down their phones and Ipads and enjoy each other’s company. The trivia questions start lots of conversations and we see a lot of people laughing and talking.”

The kids’ treasure box will be back too and maybe the retro water games as well that were so popular with the younger crowd.

Another thing Smitty’s is known for is putting pots of coffee on every table. It makes people feel like there is no rush to leave, she added.

Locals have come to love the restaurant’s prime rib nights Friday and Saturday and of course the different varieties of mimosas in the summer mornings are a huge hit.

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Herle and her family love running the Smitty’s and take great joy in getting to know their customers.

“They are our guests and we love the families who come in, our regular customers, the familiar faces and new ones too.”

Many of the staff have been with Smitty’s for years.

“Staff are our family,” she said.

If you haven’t had a chance to experience Smitty’s, there’s lots of time to do so, said Herle.

“We plan to be here a long time,” she said. “My kids will be in charge.”

“It’s not just a job,” she said. “It’s where we want to be.”

Smitty’s opened at 8 a.m. Feb. 16, offering breakfast, lunches and dinners.

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To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 

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