Victoria has seen several independent restaurants close down in recent months. Many have suffered from the lack of business amidst an affordability crisis, plus a shortage of staff and food inflation, resulting in a domino effect of closures.
Although many of the local eateries didn’t survive, that hasn’t stopped new restaurants from taking their place in Victoria.
In particular, downtown has had an influx of restaurants coming and going. Just this month, popular Vancouver chain Hi Five Chicken has opened on Douglas Street and Calgary brunch chain OEB Breakfast Co. announced they’re set to open in the fall on Yates Street.
Also set to open on Yates Street during 2023 is the eatery Tombo. With the slogan, “Good Food. Made Here,” the local restaurant has released little information, but will give more away after renovations are completed.
It will be located at 732 Yates St., which was formerly known as where Agrius operated. Under the same management, the restaurant tried to stay afloat during the sleepy winter months, but sunk. Agrius, named in February 2022 as one of OpenTable’s top-100 most romantic restaurants in Canada, closed in January 2023.
In one of Agrius’s last Instagram posts, it announced the closure “with a heavy heart.” The management concluded the post and said, “In the future, if the social and economic environment seem like they would support a restaurant focused on serving food from local farms and creating a positive environment around food service we still feel a deep love and desire to see this. We hope that you will continue to support the other incredible local restaurants we have been lucky to share this city with.”
Downtown a few blocks south of the soon-to-be Tombo restaurant, La Taqueria on Fort Street has closed to make room for Serena’s Pizzeria and Hoagies. La Taqueria is a B.C. Mexican food chain that has four locations in Vancouver and did have one in Victoria until their lease space was bought by Scott Burley.
He is renovating the space to open a restaurant with American-influenced food. He named Serena’s Pizzeria and Hoagies after his adopted daughter Serena, in similar fashion to Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s naming it after his adopted daughter. Burley is also the owner of Victoria moving company 2 Burley Men. He hopes to open his restaurant in late October with the south-of-the-border cuisine.
Also adding pizza to their menu is Seal Point Pizza, taking over the previous Hive Eatery space located in a bright fluorescent blue building on 1275 Fairfield Rd. Few details have been mentioned as the menu will remain a secret until the pizzeria has social networking services. Seal Point Pizza still has yet to confirm any details surrounding an opening date.