Out with the old and in with the new – Savalas is open for business and completely updated.
Those with memories of its former dark and dated interior will be delighted to discover the now chic, bright and classy restaurant.
As many know, Savalas Steakhouse, located on Reid street, downtown Quesnel, suffered a devastating fire last spring, leaving its owners with just three cement walls.
However, business partners Denise Mufford and Rebecca Sherstan used the damage as an opportunity to fully revamp the restaurant.
“We worked with a designer in Prince George,” Mufford said.
“Savalas was 70’s-dark dining, romantic atmosphere. Now it’s more robust, and people like the light.”
The new colour scheme boasts modern maroon and grey painted walls, darkly-stained wooden floors, black leather chairs and trendy decor and light fixtures.
The open seating arrangement is great for people watching and table grouping, while private parties can reserve an exclusive room for 10.
“We tried to incorporate everyone,” Mufford said.
“There’s the bar for singles and the gang, but we also have fine dining.”
And the cuisine?
“It’s still a family restaurant,” Mufford assured.
Perusing the menu finds a kids section with favourites like fish and chips to more adventurous food choices like lentil burgers with a side of quinoa. There’s steaks, pastas, sandwiches, seafood, a vegetarian section and a broad range of gluten-free products.
Sherstan is the gluten-free advocate, saying she chose to incorporate special meals into the menu for those with an intolerance to gluten.
“It’s nice to have more than just a salad when you go out for dinner,” she added.
Right now, the most popular menu item are the veal cutlets, but the daily themed buffet is a fierce competitor. Monday is Mexican, Tuesday is Italian, Wednesday sees Cook’s Choice, Thursday is Southwestern BBQ, Friday is Ukrainian and Saturday tops it off with prime rib.
Chef Craig Sherstan, husband to Rebecca, makes most of the menu offerings in-house fresh.
“You should see the list of ingredients for his dressings,” Rebecca said.
“The fish is breaded on site, the burgers are made here, then there’s the sauces…”
The Sherstans moved to Quesnel from Kitimat, where Craig had almost 20 years of culinary experience, training in Vancouver.
Rebecca brings a retail background to the pair and was the owner of Teja’s Dining Lounge, previously in the Quesnel Hotel.
Mufford has experience through previous business endeavours at the Quesnel Hotel, JD Meats and Top Hat Catering. She connected with the Sherstans through the Quesnel Hotel.
“The opportunity came up and I asked if they wanted to go in on the endeavour,” Mufford said of the decision to buy.
And so it was decided.
The public response to Savalas has been great so far.
“We are having a hard time keeping up,” Mufford said.
“But we’re happy to be running again, happy to have the doors open.”
Savalas is open seven days a week and encourages reservations.
The staff welcome new and returning customers and invite them to check out the new decor and menu.