Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Community supports Courtenay restaurant temporarily shuttered by fire

Atlas Cafe sold more than $3,000 in gift cards after making a call-out to the community

By Nina Grossman
December 16, 2022
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Community supports Courtenay restaurant temporarily shuttered by fire

Atlas Cafe sold more than $3,000 in gift cards after making a call-out to the community

By Nina Grossman
Dec 16, 2022
Courtenay’s Atlas Cafe has received an influx of support since a fire and flood damaged the restaurant during one of the busiest times of year. Photo: Provided.
Courtenay’s Atlas Cafe has received an influx of support since a fire and flood damaged the restaurant during one of the busiest times of year. Photo: Provided.
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Community supports Courtenay restaurant temporarily shuttered by fire

Atlas Cafe sold more than $3,000 in gift cards after making a call-out to the community

By Nina Grossman
December 16, 2022
Get the news and events in Victoria, in your inbox every morning.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Community supports Courtenay restaurant temporarily shuttered by fire
Courtenay’s Atlas Cafe has received an influx of support since a fire and flood damaged the restaurant during one of the busiest times of year. Photo: Provided.

After nearly 28 years feeding the community with love, a Courtenay restaurant is getting the support back tenfold after an unexpected setback during its busiest season.

Atlas Cafe has been serving “perfectly overstuffed breakfasts, bustling lunches and inspired dinners” to locals and visitors alike since 1995, according to co-owner Sandra Viney. It was born out of a desire to bring vegetarian and vegan options to the Comox Valley and was named for the international travels that brought its two owners together.

The cuisine has evolved, but the fan base has stayed consistent, as evidenced by the “atlasphere” of regulars who showed their support for the business following a fire Monday night.

Viney said a bin of hot cloths from the dryer ignited, sparking a fire in the coffee station area of the restaurant and melting a water pipe in the ceiling–which both prevented the fire from spreading and left significant water damage.

Viney said they’re still waiting for an estimate, but the beloved cafe will be closed until at least after Christmas, meaning several party and reservation cancellations.

“I had to call [everyone] that had locked in their reservations months ago,” she said. “The one that broke my heart the most was a 90th birthday.”

In addition, the cafe and its employees, whose hours had already been reduced in the wake of the pandemic, will be out of work during what’s usually one of the busiest times of year.

“This is the money-making week for our staff. We've got servers that have been with us for 25 years, and 24 years, and 18 years…” she said. “And they've taken so many hits over the course of the last two years.

“Our hearts are breaking for them right now because they're in limbo, not knowing when we're going to turn the lights back on.”

Viney said it felt a bit “cheeky” at the time, but on Thursday morning, while being interviewed about the unexpected hardship on CBC’s On the Island morning show, she made a last-minute mention that people who wanted to help out could purchase gift cards, for use once the restaurant reopened.

The community listened. The next day, Viney sold more than $3,000 in gift cards. One regular, who’s been eating at the restaurant since it opened in 1995, purchased a $500 gift card, saying he knew he would spend the money there anyway.

“I feel like I’m in a triage situation, in a good way,” she said with a laugh. “I see lots of emails coming in, and the phones ringing and lots of people are coming through the door, even though we're not in service.”

Viney said they’re bringing in employees just to manage all the gift card sales.

“It really does a bring a tear to the eye,” she said. “We’ve been cloaked in so much love and support from our community. It’s so heartwarming.”

To purchase a gift card for Atlas Cafe, visit in-person or email Viney at eat@atlascafe.ca.

Article Author's Profile Picture
Nina Grossman
Newsletter Editor
contact@capitaldaily.ca

Related News

Durkin lied to Sooke Harbour House investor, securities commission finds
Stay connected to your city with the Capital Daily newsletter.
By filling out the form above, you agree to receive emails from Capital Daily. You can unsubscribe at any time.