BUSINESS BEAT: Music, casual dining mingle at The Beach House

Restaurant picking up slack where predecessor left off

Kate Phoenix

A sleek, mahogany piano sits tucked into a cozy corner downstairs in Cordova Bay’s newest eatery.

It’s quiet on this day. But if Kate Phoenix, owner-general manager of The Beach House restaurant, has her way, the area will be a big part of the success of her latest venture.

“This was sold by Alison Piano to McMorran’s back in 1920,” she says. “When we called them to come and refurbish it, they said ‘hey, we sold that piano originally.’”

The McMorran name may no longer be on the business – the longtime family run operation shut down in 2010 – but the hope is that the musical atmosphere it cultivated over the years will continue at the new Beach House.

“It’s a musical place … (and) music is a big part of a lot of people’s lives at the restaurant,” Phoenix says.

Already doing a brisk business since opening in late June, The Beach House is joining with the Victoria Conservatory of Music for a fundraiser event Aug. 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sales of two menu items, Dough-Re-Mi pizza and Fa-So-La-Tini cocktails – with or without alcohol – will benefit the Conservatory.

During the day, conservatory trained musicians such as rising violin star Ceilidh Briscoe, plus VCM faculty, will perform upstairs in the main dining room and downstairs in the bistro.

“We felt it would be a wonderful opportunity to partner with the new Beach House,” said conservatory CEO Jane Butler-McGregor.

“Music was a huge part of the culture and the past of McMorran’s, and the fact Kate and her team are still wanting to put music forward tells us she wants to let that musical legacy live on.”

Phoenix, an Edmonton native and former vice-president of marketing for Rogers Chocolates, says the plan is to offer patrons a regular menu of light jazz or classics with their casual dining experience.

The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and is closed on Tuesdays. They will be available for large parties, upstairs or down – but never both at the same time. Phoenix says they want to make sure there is always someplace available for people who want to drop in.

The Beach House is at 5109 Cordova Bay Rd. Call 250-658-5224 for reservations or information.

Naples-styles pizzeria opens its doors

Victoria’s first Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria welcomes guests for its grand opening today at suite 128 in Market Square.

The Canada-wide franchise, making inroads into B.C., features pizzas made with imported Italian flour, and topped with fior-di-latte mozzarella. The downtown Victoria eatery cooks up their pies in a unique bell-shaped oven.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturdays. Call 250-590-2648.

Movie nights at Mayfair starting this week

Mayfair Shopping Centre hosts its fifth annual free outdoor drive-in movie series.

The movies start with Princess Bride, which will be projected onto a three-storey screen in the southeast parking lot near Blanshard and Finlayson streets. Subsequent flicks include Jaws (Aug. 15) and The Goonies (Aug. 22).

Start time is 9:30 p.m. for the first two and 9:15 for the Aug. 22 show. Parking passes are available at the Mayfair concierge desk the Saturday before each movie and can be redeemed from 6 to 9 p.m. on show nights for a Mayfair gift card.

The food court will be open until show time on movie nights.

Business goings-on around and about town

United Way of Greater Victoria has appointed Jo-Anne Silverman as its director of fund development. Silverman comes to the charity after spending nine years as advancement manager with the Camosun College Foundation … Oak Bay Beach Hotel has added Frank Berke to its sales team. The native of Tennessee owned and operated Brilliant Ideas Canada Ltd. for 24 years, with stores across B.C. and Alberta. He lived and worked in the Caribbean managing a luxury resort for six years … Vince Herlaar has joined the financial planning firm of Hatch and Muir as an associate after working in the credit union industry. He can be located at 202-612 View St. … Pacific Christian School grad Ashley Schenk, who will attend Houghton College in New York this fall, won a $500 bursary from Bob Lane Insurance Services in Brentwood, a division of SeaFirst Insurance Brokers. The money will help her pursue studies in math and actuarial sciences.

Send your business news tips to

Just Posted

Major expansion coming to Royal Bay Secondary

Province will build space for 600 more students on same site

At the age of 95, local bowler shows no signs of slowing down

Olive Olmsted has bowled for more than 55 years

Colwood wins Victoria Flower Count for a five-peat

The 43rd annual Flower Count had over three billion blossoms counted in total

Royal Bay junior boys bring back lacrosse banner

The Ravens sent three teams to the provincial championships

Langford fundraiser for kidney disease is a success

Maureen Hobbs thinks B.C. Transplant says it best: “Live life. Pass it on.”

Celebrating our transit drivers on their day

March 18 is International Transit Driver Appreciation Day

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Canadian comic Mike MacDonald dies at 63

Ottawa-born comedian had performed on David Letterman

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

B.C. VIEWS: Speculation tax, cabin tax or asset tax?

Targeting empty homes seems confused and ineffective

Inspections, training needed to prevent repeat of Fernie ammonia leak across B.C.

Ammonia is inherently dangerous and should be not used in skating and curling rinks, says one expert

LETTER: Lowered voting age would engage youth in political process

Saanich high school student supports giving a vote to 16-year-olds

RCMP move to arrest pipeline protesters at entrance to Trans Mountain work site

28 demonstrators began blocking the entrance to Kinder Morgan’s work site at about 10 a.m. Saturday

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Most Read