Cole Byers and Jasmine Grant are taking a leap of faith and opening The Rack Westcoast Bistro in Langford, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)

Cole Byers and Jasmine Grant are taking a leap of faith and opening The Rack Westcoast Bistro in Langford, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)

Langford residents making “all-in move” opening restaurant amid COVID-19 pandemic

Although The Rack Westcoast Bistro isn’t officially open yet, it’s serving anyone who wanders in

In the midst of a global pandemic that has dealt the restaurant industry a deadly blow, far more people are thinking about closing restaurants than opening them.

But, in what he described as “an all-in move”, Cole Byers is taking a chance and opening The Rack Westcoast Bistro in Langford.

Located at the corner of Millstream Road and Treanor Avenue, the casual dining restaurant isn’t officially open yet but Byers said they’re happily providing takeout and serving anyone who happens to wander in.

“My focus is to make sure we’ve worked out all the kinks before opening,” Byers said.

He added they’re hoping this slow and steady approach, combined with thorough market research and a focus on the community, will lead to a successful business despite difficult circumstances.

Byers has also had the advantage of seeing first hand how a restaurant needs to adapt and run under COVID-19 restrictions. He is a co-owner of McRae’s Restaurant in Saanich.

So, when Byers and his business partner and wife, Jasmine Grant, started designing The Rack Bistro, they already had a good idea of how they should lay out the restaurant and set up operations.

Even with 14 years of experience in the industry though, Byers knows this decision is risky. “It’s an all-chips-in move,” he said. “I know if I don’t make it work, I ate it for my family.”

The couple has five children, and Byers said they want The Rack Bistro to be a true “mom and pop shop” — a place where all kinds of community members can go and feel comfortable.

Ranked as the fastest growing community in B.C. in 2019, Langford is an ideal place to launch a new business, Byers said. The only thing he and Grant have found the city is missing is more local businesses.

The couple hopes to fill that void. Byers said he has made it a point to talk to every single person who has walked through their door so far.

“Come in, experience, test it. If it doesn’t work for you, give us feedback. We’re not here to harm, we’re here to provide,” he said.

By practising this humility and openness to feedback, the couple said they believe they can create a space where people “feel safe going out.”

Byers said they’re hoping to officially launch The Rack Bistro in November. Until then, they are still more than happy to welcome in anyone who walks through their door.


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

CoronavirusLangfordlocal businessrestaurant

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

Just Posted

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Saanich girl, 12, speaks to lack of supports, says mom

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

The Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors in July 2021. (Malahat SkyWalk photo)
Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors this July

Highly anticipated attraction will take guests 250m above sea level

Illegal goods seized in the simultaneous April 23 busts in Saanich and Sooke. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
RCMP drug busts net trucks, cocaine, cash and Hells Angels gear

Simultaneous searches coordinated between West Shore, Saanich and Sooke police

The Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre on Wilkinson Road in Saanich. (Black Press Media file photo)
Police watchdog investigates after man found unresponsive at Saanich jail

Man was in Victoria police custody the day before being found

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,000 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

B.C. average home price and sales level to 2023, showing steep drop in sales expected next year. (Central 1)
Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Average price to rise another 10% in 2021, credit unions say

Members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (File photo)
B.C.-wide #DayOfMusic to feature 100-plus free virtual concerts May 15

‘Our colleagues across the province have figured out new ways to perform and connect,’ VSO boss says

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same – do it and you’ll be ordered to pay

(File)
With revenge porn on the rise in 2021, B.C. seeks feedback for new legislation

New legislation could help victims take down images and receive compensation

Port Alberni RCMP are investigating a homicide on Third Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
RCMP investigating homicide in Port Alberni apartment

Investigators are still trying to determine the identity of the deceased

Most Read