Salmon Arm is now home to an up-and-running Mr Mikes restaurant.
With little fanfare, the new restaurant at 1035 Lakeshore Dr. W opened its doors at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 29.
Despite the low-key opening, customers eager to try out the new eatery filed in steadily over the noon hour and beyond.
All who were asked as they left the restaurant said the food was good, as was the service.
Cathy Barbour, her spouse Scott and her daughter Celine, on their way to Calgary from Vancouver, agreed their meal and their servers were good.
Both Cathy and Scott said they could tell the servers were a little nervous, but they were polite and completely on top of their jobs, checking back regularly.
The dining area, bar and Urban Lodge lounge can seat 170 people, while a front patio that will seat 26 is still to come.
The upstairs will be used for private functions sometime in the future. A conference room seats 12 to 14, but is temporarily being used as home base for the employee trainers.
One of those trainers is Garret Pristie, who has come to Salmon Arm from Quesnel to train the hosts who greet customers at the door.
Pristie says he helped open Mr Mikes establishments in Peace River and Williams Lake as well as Quesnel.
He speaks enthusiastically about the Stonewater Group, the parent company of the Mr Mikes chain.
He says this is their 12th business and they create not only a community within the staff, but become part of the larger community.
“They donate a ton to the community and do fundraisers as well.”
Stacks of food sit in the corner of the entrance area as a testament, set to go to the SAFE Society.
Pristie explained that during trial runs prior to the opening, people participating were asked to bring a food item.
Gratuities and other donations collected will be going to Harrison Lavigne, a contractor who has played a big role in getting the restaurant open on time.
He was involved in an accident which shut down the highway recently and had to be flown to hospital.
Pristie says he’s reported to be doing okay.
Mr Mikes will be open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
No reservations are being taken yet, probably not until November, Pristie says.
Job applicants are still welcomed as the restaurant is still hiring.