I came across these old menus from 1999. If you look closely you will see burgers and alcohol on the menu below and breakfast on the menu at the end of the article.
Stumbling upon these inspired me to write a little bit about a buzz fraze in our community these days; "family licensed diner".
I'm not sure what is going to happen with all our closed restaurants and there sure is alot of hear say. But what I do know is that it is not an easy thing to provide in this community.
It was Rockys parents (Monica and Alan Gould) that started Real Things Breakfast Snack and Pizza Shack in 1997 after previously running the Naramata store for 8 years. Alan turned a simple house into the commercial building now known as Cafe Nevermatters. Rocky ran the pizza end of things in the evening with the help of his younger teenage brother Marty.
I helped out with breakfast and also helped Monica with her postal rural route in Penticton.
After a few years Monica and Alan were ready to move on. Rocky and I were preparing to take over the business and trial ran things for about a year. During that time it was clear that pizza was the primary income for the business. Furthermore the long hours (6:30am -9pm) were very hard to hold and we could not afford employees in the slow times. We also had one child at the time who was almost 2 years old.
We took the pizza and opened a take out only establishment that opened at 4pm located in what is now the Shades of Linen clothing.
As years went on and Rocky and I saw that the take out business was growing.
Because we opened at 4 till 8 or 10pm depending on the time of year we naturally had low overhead and employee costs. We could also work most of the hours ourselves without facing long hours.
We also seemed to be producing children as well! So we sold what is still my favorite red barn house on eighth street and used the credit to build what is our present location.
NARAMATA BUSINESSES ARE LIKE GUYSERS but you never know when it's going to blow!
One minute you are twiddling your thumbs and the next you are so busy you don't know what to do. Naramata businesses are difficult to staff for this very reason. You never know when you will be busy and you lose a lot of money to staff waiting.
If you notice many local businesses that survive are ran primarily by the owner and have niche hours for this reason.
It is hard to work all the hours yourself and afford employees when it is slow.
Business owners here either work all the hours themselves or restrict when you are open to survive without employee costs.
So you can see that although a pub and a family licensed diner would be wonderful for this community it is no small task to make it successful.
I'm sure each and every face behind our local food establishment would have Common look of exhaustion and a story to tell of how hard they have worked.
I remember after having my third kid running into May and Peter from China Beach. May actually asked me how I did everything. She would say "you busy mom, how you do everything?" I would laugh and say, "Oh May YOU are amazing! You run an all day restaurant and raise your 3 boys!" What May and Peter did is amazing to me. You could even call at 2am and they would be there to make you food. LONG hard hours and self sacrifice for their family.
I am blessed to have the time in the day for my marriage and family, to provide great pizza to my community and tuck my kids into bed at the end of the day through the winter months. Who would have thought that an aspiring nurse would end up flipping pies with a smile on her face!
I hope that whatever comes of these missing businesses in our community they will be equally blessed.