The Pony Espresso was the social stop of Pemberton. You could drive by the shack of a restaurant and check out what trucks were parked in front, then decide whether to stop by for a coffee or not.
When the hitching-post joint closed down last October, more than just another restaurant closed a component of Pemberton culture, not to mention gossip ring and local hangout, was lost.
However, caffeine cowboys and freshly-baked-bread ropers can once again mosey on down to their beloved Pony Espresso by mid June, a short jaunt from the Ponys original stomping ground located in the same building where the Pemberton Steakhouse used to reside.
"That was always part of the plan, to open again when we closed down last fall," said Mike Richman, Pony owner. "The old building was becoming a burden. I was spending more time as a (handyman) than as a chef. The plan was to carry on with the Pony in some form."
With a bigger kitchen and more floor space, Richman finally has the room to expand his vision and the menu of the Pony.
The Ponys Mount Currie bakery will become a component of the restaurant, setting up a coffee-shop style area in addition to restaurant seating. A portion of the dining room will also be shaped into an evening hangout after 9 p.m., when friends can socialize over a glass of wine and dessert.
"One thing Pemberton is missing is an evening atmosphere," Richman said. "The Pony has always been a local hub for daytime. We want to turn that into the nighttime too."
Pony menu staples such as soup, salad and baked goods for lunch, as well as pastas, steaks, short ribs and thin-crust pizzas will carry on. However, with a larger kitchen, Richman will build on the menu with fresh sheet specials and seafood dishes.
"I take food in its basic form," said the culinary talent of 20 years. "I make comfortable and accessible food. I use healthy products. I lean toward fresh herbs and local products. I start from an onion and clove of garlic and move from there."
Big Wheel keeps on turnin
Restaurateur Phil Dunbar can barely get any work done with locals poking their heads in to find out when they can satisfy their thin-crust pizza cravings at the new Wicked Wheel, located next to AG Foods in Pemberton.
This well-missed Pemberton favourite opens its doors late next week, getting the wheel turning on old favourites such as their pastas and stone-cooked thin crust pizzas along with soon-to-be-new favourites rotisserie chicken and prime rib dinners.
Dinner is served from 3 to 10 p.m. Lunch begins in June.
For delivery, call 604-894-6622.
Happy birthday Ingrid
While the name has changed, the homestyle cooking that has been a hallmark of Ingrids Village Café over the past 20 years hasnt.
Originally called Ingrids Cork & Cheddar in 1986, the family-run café celebrates its 20 th Anniversary this week.
Starting Saturday, May 6, the café in Village Square will serve a daily special at 1986 prices. For $4.95, mountain bikers can stoke their engines with specials including everything from Italian meatloaf and a barbecue roast beef melt to veggie burgers and chicken schnitzel.
Soups, salads and schnitzels never disappoint, but the cafe is most famous for its original-recipe veggie burgers.