The West End will soon receive a new and fun, forward-thinking comfort food eatery called Ritual. It’s coming to us via first-time restaurateur Nevada Cope, a Dubrulle grad who’s been toiling in the kitchen at the Italian Cultural Centre for the past four years. The 1,450 sqft, 48 seater is located at 774 Denman Street — the same block as Kintaro, just north of Robson.
Nevada describes her food concept as a personal interpretation of “eclectic American”, with particular attention paid to the louder flavours of the South. The menu includes items like (subject to change, natch) Hawaiian buns with teriyaki-soaked pulled pork and pineapple compote; fire roasted corn with lime crema and cojito; oak-smoked brisket with gai lan and creamed polenta; and – oh my – Bananas Foster crepes.
Baking will be a major facet of Ritual. Nevada is hoping for a brisk take-out trade for her banana bread, cobblers, pies, english muffins, three types of biscuit, and other baked treats – all made fresh daily. She also plans on doing a daily “pop tart”, the innards of which I trust will be considerably less terrifying than the store-bought kind. Expect brunch service every day until 3pm.
Of particular interest will be the pricing, as Nevada plans on paying a living wage to her employees. A note on the menu reads as follows:
“We do not accept tips. Our prices reflect margins that allow us to pay all our staff a living wage, which around $21 an hour. If you would like to leave additional gratuities the proceeds will be donated to A Loving Spoonful charity.”
It all sounds very well considered, fun, and tasty, and it’s certainly high time this address had some life breathed back into it. The last time it had a tenant was three years ago, back when the old Shibuya Nuts called it quits. As you can see from the images, there’s a lot of work to be done if Nevada is going to meet her aimed for opening date of December 15th. It appears as if she’s stripping away everything down to the original brick and bones first, which is to say she definitely has her work cut out for her! I wish her the very best of luck moving forward, and hope to check in on Ritual’s progress as construction continues.