In an effort to adjust to the new public health orders put in place by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry RauDZ Regional Table had to pivot in order to remain open as the restaurant’s location doesn’t have space for a patio.
RauDZ Regional Table is under the umbrella of RauDZ Creative Concepts, which also owns Sunny’s a Modern Diner, Micro Bar and Bites, and The Okanagan Table. Normally, The Okanagan Table focuses on catering private events, but when the new health orders came into place, co-owner Audrey Surrao says the company had to think outside of the box.
The extension of the public health orders banning indoor dining concerned Surrao regarding the survival of RauDZ Regional Table — it’s the largest of the company’s restaurants with the most seats.
”It’s a long time to be closed with no revenue. It’s still generating expenses, like everyone else,” she told Capital News.
That was when Surrao and co-owner chef Rod Butters decided to set up to serve a pop-up RauDZ patio on Pandosy.
The menu was curated by Surrao and Butters, with RauDZ fan-favourites like the garlic butter-basted Angus New York steak and the oat-crusted Arctic char. For a limited time only, they have added special menu items like thin-crust pizza. Many of the patio menu items can even be purchased inside The Okanagan Table for customers to cook at home, like the pizza dough and ingredients.
Although the menu and the patio came together quickly, it wasn’t without added costs. Surrao says the restaurant is renting out the parking spaces in front of Okanagan Table and had to get the proper equipment to put the whole patio together.
Despite the differences, Surrao says it still has that chef Butters quality Kelowna has come to know and love. However, the pop-up patio and limited-time dishes will only be around until public health orders allow for RauDZ to reopen — so you might want to try that thin crust pizza ASAP.
“We try to be as positive as we can,” explained Surrao. “It’s been a really challenging year. It’s scary for us.”
Before the pandemic hit, RauDZ Creative Concepts employed 79 people, since the pandemic hit, it is down to 41 employees. Surrao recognizes a lot of employees rely on RauDZ for their livelihood which is something she and chef Butters take seriously and they are doing everything they can to keep their employees.
But with the support of the community, Surrao stays hopeful. The new patio space was decorated to create the same ambiance as RauDZ Regional Table with the same great service and delicious dishes — just in a different spot.
“You’ve got Rod Butters cooking in the kitchen himself, you can’t get any better than that,” Surrao said.