For the owners of the Villa Rosa restaurant, their new venture Sociale on Lakeshore Drive will open as a new chapter for the local business.
The new restaurant comes as the old Villa Rosa location and the neighbouring properties are set to be redeveloped.
“Just transition-wise, the timing worked,” said co-owner Tyler Gable. ” We knew that we would have to leave here eventually and we weren’t going to let someone else decide our fate so we decided to off brand while still paying homage to Villa Rosa.”
Tyler and his wife Nicole have owned and run the restaurant since 2007, but the Villa Rosa has been a part of Penticton for 26 years.
“It’s a lot of pedigree in this town, and you know we don’t want to see it go and I don’t think the community wants to see it go either,” said Gable.
Sociale, on Lakeshore Drive, has the sub-heading of ‘By Villa Rosa’ attached to it, but it won’t be a recreation of the old restaurant, and it’s planned to last beyond Villa Rosa’s expected hiatus.
The employees from the Villa Rosa will be moving over to Sociale when it opens later this month.
The plan is to hopefully bring the Villa Rosa back, either into the commercial corner of the redevelopment of their old location on Westminster, or somewhere else in town.
“We’ve been looking at other viable locations, but nothing really fit what we want,” said Gable.
The new Sociale will have a different focus built around the Lakeshore setting. It will still have some items that pay homage to the recipes, such as a return of the house Caesar salad dressing and house-made tomato sauce, that made Villa Rosa so popular.
Half of the business will be set up as a morning coffee and grab-and-go with a pick-up window to serve customers and delivery orders.
The grab-and-go menu will be new too, with partnerships with local businesses to provide pastries, vegan-certified foods alongside in-house cooking.
“We really want to hit the wine tours as well in the morning, so they can come and grab their coffee and pick up a charcuterie board or sandwiches for lunch,” said Gable.
Sociale’s restaurant-side will be open 11:30 a.m. until midnight and is set to offer lighter fare that is intended to avoid competing with the Villa Rosa when that gets back up and running.
“Sociale is a restaurant we want people to go to for drinks and tapas, and then come to Villa Rosa for dinner,” said Gable. “We don’t want to lose that dining crowd we’ve built over these 26 years of business.”
One of the big features planned to be installed before the grand opening is the bar-top that will let people stare out at the lake and the beach while enjoying some food or a drink.
The last day of the Villa Rosa is scheduled for Sunday, June 19, with the new Sociale scheduled to open the following weekend.
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