Beach eatery in Tsawwassen open for business
With 20 years in the restaurant business, Boundary Bay's Paul Roberts has had his fair share of opening day dramas.
But the ones he and his staff endured leading up to the opening of his new location—the Centennial Beach Cafe—were quite challenging.
First of all, delays with construction of the new facility right on the beach put plans on hold.
Then some problems with the building—power outages and a drain back up—and a computer system failure in the restaurant added to the woes as anxious customers lined up to enjoy a meal in one of Metro Vancouver's busiest parks.
Plans were to open in May and gradually get his operation slowly up to speed. But delays only gave him access to the building on June 19.
What followed was a hurried set up to open July 4.
"That's very quick for a new restaurant," Roberts said, who has 20 employees to run the operation.
"It's part of the game, and that's sometimes the way it goes," he said. "It wasn't the plan to open on the first gorgeous sunny day of the summer. But that's what it was and we had to work through it."
That's all behind Roberts and his enthusiastic employees who have survived their trial by fire and are looking forward to serving up traditional beach fare—burgers and fish and chips—as well as some items that think outside the culinary box such as Asian noodle boxes featuring prawn pad Thai, crab cakes, and fish tacos.
"Every day we are adding just a little bit more," Roberts said sitting at one of the tables on the sunny patio area. "Things are falling into place, in terms of the kitchen. And once that gets into a routine, that's when we will focus on the other items."
So far the response from customers has been good.
"In the first week we did over 1,200 kg of French fries. That's a lot," Roberts said. "It was like Woodstock down here a couple of weeks ago there were so many people."
He admits there's been some delays in serving food, but explained the items are made to order.
"The idea was not to slap it together and bag up burgers," Roberts said. "We are producing quality food and want people to enjoy the experience."
Summer hours run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Plans are to keep the restaurant running year round with an inside seating area with a heated floor to keep customers comfortable.