After more than seven-and-a-half years in operation, the Junction Café in Function Junction closed its doors on Apr. 30.
Owner Colin-Pitt Taylor handed the keys over to three local chefs who will operate the business as the Wild Wood Café and Catering Company.
"I was getting myself spread just a little too thin," said Pitt-Taylor, who opened up the successful Riverside Junction Café at the Riverside Campground and R.V. Park just over a year ago.
Running both places quickly became too time-consuming, and this week Pitt-Taylor opted to give up the Function Junction business and concentrate on the Riverside establishment.
"Its very hands-on, it was becoming too much that I had no life," he said.
" I had to be here all the time," he said.
On the last day of operation, Pitt-Taylor closed up the cash register and asked customers to make a donations to a trust fund for Jake, Stacy and Cyrus, the children of locals Kim Wolfe and Elwyn Rowlands, who died in a tragic automobile accident on April 17. Elwyn Rowlands pictures used to hang on the walls of the Junction Café.
"I put the bucket out for one day and I raised approximately $700," said Pitt-Taylor.
"I didnt charge anybody for food, I just said put it in the bucket."
The new owners of the Wild Wood are Chris Skene, Paul Saulnier and Richard Yee. The three met while cooking for The Crab Shack and Tex Corleones, where Yee will continue to work as the executive chef.
"It was a good opportunity for us," said Yee. "Its a nice little, atmospheric, café that we thought we could set up our own little gig in. We have a catering company too, and we needed a kitchen to work out of, and this just worked out perfect for us. Colin was a good guy and just gave us the offer first."
Yee describes Wild Wood as an "industrial style café", but one that hopes to be a little more cutting edge with its food.
Among the items on the menu will be grill-style Italian sandwiches, "and donairs are going to be our specialty", said Yee. They will also serve an all-day breakfast, "but with a little more flair were all chefs so it works out really well."
The official opening is May 7. It will be closed for about five days for renovations.
The grand opening is planned for Mothers Day on May 12, where mothers will get special deals on food.
The Wild Wood Café is located at the southern tip of Millar Creek Road in the bus turnaround.
Fine wine nets big bucks
The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, a week long celebration, raised more than $138,466 for The Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company at a rare wine auction last week. About $56,000 was raised during a live auction at the Bacchanalia Gala, and six different silent auctions provided the rest.
A 73-year-old bottle of Clos Vougeot Burgundy from Domaine Doudet-Naudin, valued at $1,200 topped the list at the live auction. Also sold were two bottles of rare 1964 Quinta do Noval Nacional Vinage Port, valued at over $400 each.
The wine festival includes more than 150 wineries from 15 different countries, and hosted almost 17,000 people at 40 different events.
All the money raised at the festival goes to benefit the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company.