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

Just Posted

Left to right: A screenshot of NTC nurse navigator Lesley Cerney, FNHA regional mental health manager Georjeana Paterson and Island Health’s medical health officer Dr. Charmaine Enns addressing Ehattesaht community members from Ehatis reserve in a Facebook live update. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Medical team sent to Ehatis reserve near Zeballos to guide community through COVID outbreak

17 cases, eight recoveries and no hospitalizations as Island Health praises First Nation’s response

An man from Errington died when his ATV went over an embankment on Northwest Bay Logging Road on the weekend. (File photo)
Errington man dies in ATV crash southwest of Parksville

Incident happened on Northwest Bay Logging Road on Saturday afternoon

Remains of the scene off Melrose Road in Whiskey Creek where three bodies were found on Nov. 1, 2020. (Mandy Moraes photo)
RCMP investigation continues into grisly discovery of 3 human bodies, 4 dead dogs near Whiskey Creek

Police still want to speak with motorist who picked up hitchhikers near scene on Nov. 1

Island Health has confirmed the first long term care facility outbreak in Greater Victoria at Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich. (Google Maps)
Island Health records first long-term care COVID outbreak in Greater Victoria

Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich confirms one positive staff member

The School District 70 administration office in Port Alberni. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO
Four Alberni schools reporting COVID-19 exposures

Exposures occurred between Nov. 19 and Nov. 25 depending on the school

A bus shelter in White Rock is emblazoned with an ad from B.C.’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Black Press Media files)
VIDEO: ‘Am I racist?’ campaign asks British Columbians to confront their unconscious biases

Signs asking British Columbians to think about racial injustice have been put up across the province

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
B.C. man defends his family against intruder, saves neighbour while wielding hockey stick

RCMP looking for footage that captures violent crime spree in Chilliwack

Victoria police issued tickets to two Victoria party hosts Saturday night, according to VicPD Chief Del Manak. (Unsplash)
Victoria partiers hid in closets, bedrooms in an attempt to avoid fines

Police gave out COVID-19 tickets to two separate parties

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009. (RCMP photo)
Human remains found off U.S. coast in 2009 identified as Penticton man

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond speaks to a reporter in Vancouver on November 13, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
No evidence that B.C. ER staff played blood alcohol level game, but Indigenous racism ‘widespread’

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond releases findings of independent investigation

The Nov. 20 WestJet flight 3171 has been identified by the BC Centre for Disease Control with a COVID case aboard. (Black Press file photo)
Fifth COVID-19 exposure reported on flight at Comox airport

Another exposure risk from flight originating in Calgary

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Most Read