The Qualicum Beach Cafe team: from left, host owner Eli Brennan, general manager Amy Turner, host owner/chef Alan Tse, chef de cuisine Todd Bright, sous chef Jack Mitchell and pastry chef/baker Noemie Girard. (Submitted photo)

Fresh start: Qualicum Beach Cafe set to offer West Coast dining

New operators bring wealth of culinary, hospitality experience

There’s something new cooking at the Qualicum Beach Inn.

Its restaurant has new operators, Eli Brennan and Alan Tse, who bring their deep passion for culinary and dining experience to the community.

The partners have renamed the restaurant the Qualicum Beach Cafe. It is slated to open on Jan. 30 and for now will be operating from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Thursday to Monday. They’re expected to open seven days a week starting in April, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For Brennan, embarking on a new venture in Qualicum Beach is a return to his Island roots, as he was born in Comox and grew up in Cowichan Valley.

“I grew up here on the Island so it’s kind of a little homecoming for me,” said Brennan.

Brennan and Tse are no stranger to operating restaurants. They currently own an iconic restaurant that’s been in Gastown for 33 years, The Water Street Cafe, located just opposite the world renowned Gastown Steam Clock. Since taking over the ownership of the cafe in 2017, they completely transformed the restaurant and catapulted it to new heights. They are now set to do same in Qualicum Beach.

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“We really wanted to come here and bring some of that professional, courteous hospitality, you know the kind of vision that we’re famous and known for and just truly passionate about,” said Brennan.

When they visited the restaurant for the first time, Brennan said they immediately fell in love with the room, the restaurant and the view.

“It was just though too good an opportunity to pass up,” said Brennan. “For one because of the location, the atmosphere that’s here, as well as what we can bring to it, and of course being a part of Qualicum Beach and bringing true West Coast hospitality to area.”

Residents in Qualicum Beach and area who enjoy eating out can look forward to West Coast seafood-based menu with Italian influences.

“We’re bringing 40 to 50 years of experience of the hospitality of restaurants,” said Brennan. “So all of that combined, we’ve created a great menu of house made, fresh made-to-order ingredients. It’s a really diverse menu that’s really going to be kind of pushing the envelope of culinary creation in the area.”

Brennan said they’ve connected with area suppliers, farms and distributors to help them produce some unique items.

The person that’s been tasked to produce the items is chef de cuisine Todd Bright, while the management will be headed by general manager Amy Turner.

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