BUSINESS BEAT: Music, casual dining mingle at The Beach House

Restaurant picking up slack where predecessor left off

Kate Phoenix

Kate Phoenix

A sleek, mahogany piano sits tucked into a cozy corner downstairs in Cordova Bay’s newest eatery.

It’s quiet on this day. But if Kate Phoenix, owner-general manager of The Beach House restaurant, has her way, the area will be a big part of the success of her latest venture.

“This was sold by Alison Piano to McMorran’s back in 1920,” she says. “When we called them to come and refurbish it, they said ‘hey, we sold that piano originally.’”

The McMorran name may no longer be on the business – the longtime family run operation shut down in 2010 – but the hope is that the musical atmosphere it cultivated over the years will continue at the new Beach House.

“It’s a musical place … (and) music is a big part of a lot of people’s lives at the restaurant,” Phoenix says.

Already doing a brisk business since opening in late June, The Beach House is joining with the Victoria Conservatory of Music for a fundraiser event Aug. 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sales of two menu items, Dough-Re-Mi pizza and Fa-So-La-Tini cocktails – with or without alcohol – will benefit the Conservatory.

During the day, conservatory trained musicians such as rising violin star Ceilidh Briscoe, plus VCM faculty, will perform upstairs in the main dining room and downstairs in the bistro.

“We felt it would be a wonderful opportunity to partner with the new Beach House,” said conservatory CEO Jane Butler-McGregor.

“Music was a huge part of the culture and the past of McMorran’s, and the fact Kate and her team are still wanting to put music forward tells us she wants to let that musical legacy live on.”

Phoenix, an Edmonton native and former vice-president of marketing for Rogers Chocolates, says the plan is to offer patrons a regular menu of light jazz or classics with their casual dining experience.

The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and is closed on Tuesdays. They will be available for large parties, upstairs or down – but never both at the same time. Phoenix says they want to make sure there is always someplace available for people who want to drop in.

The Beach House is at 5109 Cordova Bay Rd. Call 250-658-5224 for reservations or information.

Naples-styles pizzeria opens its doors

Victoria’s first Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria welcomes guests for its grand opening today at suite 128 in Market Square.

The Canada-wide franchise, making inroads into B.C., features pizzas made with imported Italian flour, and topped with fior-di-latte mozzarella. The downtown Victoria eatery cooks up their pies in a unique bell-shaped oven.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturdays. Call 250-590-2648.

Movie nights at Mayfair starting this week

Mayfair Shopping Centre hosts its fifth annual free outdoor drive-in movie series.

The movies start with Princess Bride, which will be projected onto a three-storey screen in the southeast parking lot near Blanshard and Finlayson streets. Subsequent flicks include Jaws (Aug. 15) and The Goonies (Aug. 22).

Start time is 9:30 p.m. for the first two and 9:15 for the Aug. 22 show. Parking passes are available at the Mayfair concierge desk the Saturday before each movie and can be redeemed from 6 to 9 p.m. on show nights for a Mayfair gift card.

The food court will be open until show time on movie nights.

Business goings-on around and about town

United Way of Greater Victoria has appointed Jo-Anne Silverman as its director of fund development. Silverman comes to the charity after spending nine years as advancement manager with the Camosun College Foundation … Oak Bay Beach Hotel has added Frank Berke to its sales team. The native of Tennessee owned and operated Brilliant Ideas Canada Ltd. for 24 years, with stores across B.C. and Alberta. He lived and worked in the Caribbean managing a luxury resort for six years … Vince Herlaar has joined the financial planning firm of Hatch and Muir as an associate after working in the credit union industry. He can be located at 202-612 View St. … Pacific Christian School grad Ashley Schenk, who will attend Houghton College in New York this fall, won a $500 bursary from Bob Lane Insurance Services in Brentwood, a division of SeaFirst Insurance Brokers. The money will help her pursue studies in math and actuarial sciences.

Send your business news tips to editor@vicnews.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From right: Brad Cameron, BCEHS superintendent of patient care delivery for Greater Victoria, with primary care paramedics Em Funk, Tyrone Trotter, Fiona Galvin and Peter Hill at the Leigh Road station. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore paramedics didn’t waver when faced with COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Emergency Health Services personnel are this year’s Courage and Bravery Award recipients

February is Black History Month. (Photo: Government of Canada)
Camosun College highlighting Black content with research guide during Black History Month

The collection includes a range of works by Black authors and creators

Amy Morrison was surprised to find a note on her windshield for parking on a public street with no restrictions in south Oak Bay where she works. (Amy Morrison Photo)
Oak Bay resident uses notes to claim street parking

‘You must have noticed, we park in front of OUR HOUSE,’ note writer says

Debra Sheets, a University of Victoria nursing professor, is starting Victoria’s first Memory Cafe program for adults with dementia and their caregivers. (Photo: Debra Sheets)
Memory Cafe Victoria hopes to connect local dementia community

Adults with dementia and their caregivers will participate in weekly Zoom socializing and activities

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Most Read