Food scene growing in Campbellton
All neighbourhoods develop and evolve different traits over time and the historic Campbellton neighbourhood certainly demonstrates that, especially in recent years through the urban renewal efforts of the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association.
But other trends are evident too, such as shifts in the resource-based service industries and modernization of old housing, and one of the newer trends is some renewal in its restaurants and food-industry scene.
A prime example of that is Ryan's Pizzeria in the bowling alley on 16th Avenue, which has long been popular for take-outs of award-winning pizzas and now has expanded its kitchen, added some pasta dishes and other items to its menu and upgraded its dining room.
The restaurant, which is fully licensed, is still offering burgers, sandwiches and other snacks popular with bowlers but now its dining room includes two TV screens, a cozy fireplace and lots of tables ready to welcome large groups such as for bowling league participants.
The complex's owner, Ian Fong, has been a long-time supporter of the CNA, providing an office for its start-up and more recently letting the community garden committee meet in what is now the new dining room.
So thanks and best wishes to Ryan's!
Another example is the hopefully-soon-to-reopen restaurant in the landmark Quinsam Hotel, which is being worked on by new operators Brian Welz and Fred Mohammed (as reported here on Sept. 9).
The storied pub was reopened first as-is, live music returned a few weeks later and now their focus is on refurbishing the old restaurant, long popular for its home-cooked and affordable meals.
Coming soon will be a new outlet of Nesbitt's Island Coffee, going in soon and opening early next year at 1995 Island Highway (formerly Campbellton Motor Cars).
A leaflet distributed in the area by Nesbitts indicates that the high-traffic location (near the corner of Tamarac and Island Highway) also will offer some office and retail space.
It will be the second outlet in Campbell River for Nesbitt's, also at 1140 Shoppers Row, and their move into Campbellton will be another vote of confidence for its renewal.
Though Campbellton is not renowned as a destination for epicurian gourmands it does in fact have several restaurants notable for some unique attributes and excellent food.
White Tower Restaurant at 1920 Island Highway has long been popular for its large and varied menu of Greek, Italian and Canadian favourites such as steaks and seafood but since new owners Vasilis and Surinder Tsangaris took over a few years ago they have added several East Indian dishes to the menu including even some Indian-themed pizzas.
Nearby is the Beijing House Restaurant, at 1850 Island Highway (formerly Leto's), where owners Eric Zhao and Cherry Che are offering an array of spicy northern-style Chinese dishes which are difficult to find even in big cities with large Chinese populations. Their customers keep returning, especially for their Monday lunch buffet.
Meanwhile across the street is the Ginger Beef House, at 1851 Island Highway, which offers the full array of traditional and westernized versions of Cantonese or southern-styled Chinese foods; it is frequently busy with its all-you-can-eat buffets for both lunch and dinner.
And nearby is the venerable Duke's, formerly at a dockside site downtown but now an institution at 1901 Island Highway in Campbellton; it offers classic Canadian fare from early-morning hearty breakfasts to affordable dinner specials and lots of coffee all day.
There are several other food outlets in Campbellton, including two McDonald's outlets, and more are nearby such as the aptly-named Ideal Cafe across the river, but it cannot be said that Campbellton's food scene is small and boring!
Video premiere set for Dec. 1
The premiere of a 28-minute video on the making of the Campbellton Community Garden will take place on Tuesday Dec. 1 at the Beijing House Restaurant, 1850 Island Highway, with a no-host-bar reception beginning at 5 p.m.
The video traces the history of the garden project and makes various points including that growing more food locally makes the community more sustainable and helps save energy.
An early three-minute version of the video was entered in B.C. Hydro's Community Champions contest and can be viewed at https://champions.bchydro.com/entries/honourable_mentions .
CNA annual meeting set for Jan. 13
The annual general meeting of the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association has been set for Wednesday Jan. 13 at the Eagles Hall, with doors open at 5 p.m.
The event will include reports on recent and future CNA activities and the election of directors; it is a not-for-profit society operated by volunteers.