The New Normal—Reflections and Stories from the EAT Family—Part 2 Support Local! A Look at Victoria’s New Pickup Windows by Jacqueline Downey

As the world shifts and changes below our feet right now, EAT thought it might be a good time to check in with our family of contributors, supporters, and friends to see how they are dealing with daily life in this new reality. This is a temporary stage in the world timeline, we realize, but one few of us will forget. Read on for part 2 of our eleventh story.

Support Local! A Look at Victoria’s New Pickup Windows Part 2

Story and photography by Jacqueline Downey

Nothing can replace the enchantment and hum of restaurant dining, but the convenience of take-out and hot meals delivered to your front door definitely has its perks. Cycling past my favourite downtown hangouts recently, I noticed freshly papered windows hollering out to me: giant paper signs listing menu items, how to order online, large arrows guiding and pointing to pick-up windows, and taped squares and button stickers placed on the ground to enforce spacing rules. As I slowed to read these messages, the passion, dedication and tenacity of Vancouver Island’s food industry became clear to me. The same chefs, coffee roasters, farmers, bakers, and business owners who provide us with exceptional, quality products year-round are refusing to let anything stop their innovative, courageous natures. Here’s a sampling of our local businesses that are successfully adapting to the new ways of servicing our community (and bellies).

Cover Photo: Ruth and Dean’s mini cakes lined up for pick-up.


Reconnect With Your Coffee Break Buddy

Customers line up at a safe distance to get their caffeinated treat.


808 Yates St.

Grab a friend and treat them to a latte. Just be sure you each pick up your own order from the patio windows. They are also offering Cold Comfort ice cream sandwiches and baked goodies! The Atrium location is open from 7 days a week from 9am-4pm. No cash, tap only. Visit Facebook and Instagram for updates on extended hours.



Get a Croissant and pick up some Fresh Gnocchi and Gelato?

A customer orders from the front window at Ottavio’s.

Ottavio Italian Bakery and Delicatessen

2272 Oak Bay Ave.

Offering parking lot pickup or delivery for your favourite olive oils, frozen meals and, of course, cheese. Their coffee window is open and now offering their famous buttery croissants! Visit Facebook and Instagram for updates!

Parking lot pickup for pizza dough and cheese is easy!



Clean the BBQ; It’s Time to Grill Some Meat

Doors are propped open to reduce touchpoints.

Village Butcher and The Whole Beast

2032 Oak Bay Ave.

Order a few dry-aged steaks and throw some Bavarian Smokies in too! They strongly recommend prepayment and curbside pickup. Place your order by phone: 250-590-7675 or email: and pay by phone or etransfer. They are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Visit Facebook and Instagram for updates.

David Bruun stocks guanciale at The Whole Beast.

The Village Butcher has the perfect ribeye to grace your grill.



No Grill Is Complete Without Liquid Assets (Adults Only)

Matt Morrison holds a couple of house-made craft beers.

Swan’s Liquor Store

514 Pandora Ave.

The updated store includes not only a larger selection of charged liquids but a better selection of products too! Let staff handpick your choices while you wait safely in the entrance or order online. And don’t forget they are still brewing! They can’t keep up with the demand for their aged Czech Pilsner. Open every day from 9am to 7pm. Visit Facebook and Instagram for updates.

Tape guides customers to the order entrance at Swan’s Liquor Store.



Isolate With a Mini Cake 

Take a slice of funfetti cake to brighten a loved one’s day.

Ruth & Dean

2509 Estevan Ave.

Offering savoury pesto and creamy lemon parmesan sauce as well as isolation birthday cakes. Call 250-590-2780 to order. Phone or tap for payment. View their site: They are open at their Estevan Ave. location. Tuesday to Saturday from 8am to 2pm. Visit Facebook and Instagram for updates.

A selection of savoury sauces



No Gluten? No Problem

Owner Tara Black holds pickup orders in front of their pickup window.

Origin Gluten-Free Bakery

1525 Pandora Ave 

Pickup, delivery, or shipping – they will get your gluten-free treats to keep your belly happy! They ask for two days’ notice. Pickups between 11am – 2pm from Tuesday-Friday. Check out their site for ordering and visit Facebook and Instagram for updates!

Jenna Lambert retrieves an order for pickup.



When You Admit Your French is Weak 

Owner and chef Robert Cassels holds a wine pairing suggestion for this week’s meal.

Saveur Restaurant

658 Herald St.

Plate dishes like a pro. Coq au vin braised lamb shank anyone – hurry *subject to availability. Pickup menu available Wednesday to Saturday from 4pm – 7:30pm. Call: 250-590-9251 or text: 250-516-9372 any day to place your order. Visit Facebook and Instagram for updates on their weekly coursed family meals (a family is considered 2).

Boxed prepared ingredients will allow you to get creative with your plate.

Colourful chickpea salad and couscous accompany Moroccan chicken finished with cilantro yogurt. 



Pizza, Wine AND a Brownie – Yes, Please!!

Sam Jensson sports a cool mask at their pickup patio.

Agrius Restaurant 

732 Yates St.

They are ready to take your order seven days a week after 9am. You can pick up between 5pm – 8pm. Check out their site for ordering and visit Facebook and Instagram for updates!



Professional Provisions 

Stage hangs some of their offerings in the window.

Stage Restaurant

1307 Gladstone Ave.

Staged as a grocer and grog, grab your confit and duck legs and feast like Charlemagne tonight. Lots of fine liquor available – find a pairing with your siren chocolate bar to continue to reign over the night. Visit Facebook and Instagram for updates!

Chef Ivan Litland holds giant jars of duck confit.

The grocery and grog has a très chic vibe.




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Jacqueline Downey

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