The newest restaurant on Penticton’s Okanagan lakefront is encouraging diners to socialize, mingle and enjoy one of the best views.
The team behind the soon-to-be-opened Sociale Ristorante, Nicole and Tyler Gable, spent the last 16 years running Villa Rosa, but the property is currently getting redeveloped and they had to vacate.
“In the meantime, we found this property on Lakeshore Drive that we didn't want to give up,” Nicole said.
The duo decided the dining style of Villa Rosa wouldn’t fit in well in the area, instead moving to create a sister restaurant.
For years when the couple would stroll along the lakefront together, they said they noticed that not only was a coffee shop missing but a grab-and-go style spot to get some food and drink for the beach.
“These are things that we had wanted to bring to the original location long ago and throughout the years we've always had these ideas of,” Nicole said.
Sociale will feature a set up as a morning coffee and grab-and-go with a pick-up window to serve customers and delivery orders. Their restaurant side will open up at 11:30 a.m. and stay open until midnight, seven days a week.
“We've got a simplified menu, with lattes and cappuccinos. A few different flavours to choose from,” Nicole said, adding that the Italian-style breakfast sandwiches will be available, along with fresh pastries and fruit tarts from Granny's Fruit Stand in Summerland.
Morning diners can enjoy the patio outside with their coffees until the main restaurant opens.
The name, which translates to socialize in Italian, is what the two are hoping people will come back to after a few hard years with the pandemic.
“Everyone can feel comfortable in their own skin. Just to enjoy great courses of food and enjoy absolutely everything that we have to offer here including nature, the beautiful view of the valley, what you're eating and what you're drinking.”
Their food will be a lighter fair of small Italian plates that come out of the kitchen as ready, rather than the usual coursed experience. That, paired with the handcrafted cocktail list and plenty of local wines by the glass, they planned to tie in perfectly with the lakeshore area.
Much of the new restaurant will be familiar faces for past Villa Rosa diners.
“A lot of our staff are longtime staff and many of our staff have come with us to the new location,” Nicole said.
While the Gable’s are excited about their new venture, Nicole said it is a bittersweet moment.
“I mean for 16 years Villa Rosa has been our life…But Sociale is a very exciting time for us as well because it's a business that we got to build from the ground up.”
“Hopefully in the two to three-year time frame the developer will let us go back to the original Villa Rosa location for Villa Rose 2.0 to a modernized Villa Rosa with a rooftop patio,” she added. Then the two spots will complement one another.
As the team wraps up the final details before opening sometime this weekend, they said there is a lot of excitement and emotions.
Keep an eye out on Social? Ristorante’s Facebook page for their opening announcement.