When you eat at Crêperie Ooolala, it can transport you to a seaside outdoor cafe in France, with its red checkered table cloths, French jazz playing while you look out to the lake and enjoy a sweet or savoury crepe.
Now, the Penticton lakeside eatery can transport you back in time as well.
Crêperie Ooolala, which has been serving up traditional crepes in the grassy area beside the historic SS Sicamous sternwheeler for more than a decade has just expanded seating to inside the Stern Saloon, a preserved century-old SS Okanagan.
The Stern Saloon was from a stern wheeler that was retired in 1934 and sold for scrap and spare parts.
Only the saloon, a room in the back of the upper deck, remains according to Crêperie Ooolala owner Carole Dumestre.
Being able to expand her crêperie into the historic saloon was “a dream come true,” she said.
It was used as a beach hut, and spent many years in Vernon, said Dumestre.
The saloon was brought to the attention of the SS Sicamous Society, who arranged for the purchase of the structure and the logistics of the safe transfer from Vernon to Penticton.
Thanks to a generous donation from the Penticton Oktoberfest Society and the hard work of the SS Sicamous volunteer crew, the saloon was restored in 2014 with the addition of a deck and a new roof, she added.
“It offers a feeling of being back in time, and a shelter in case of rainy days, and for hot days thanks to the air conditioning inside,” said Dumestre.
There are beautiful stained glass windows and detailed woodwork in the roofline as well as a wine barrel bar.
Dumestre, who hails from the south of France, immigrated to Canada in 2008. She opened Crêperie Ooolala in Penticton in the spring 2009, starting with a very small crêpe cart.
“Since 2012, I have been setting up daily in summertime at the SS Sicamous and have been developing a great relationship with the society. I am now on the board of directors and I am glad to be involved in the preservation of marine heritage,” she added.
“Through the crêperie, my goal is to provide a social and cultural place for people to enjoy sharing good times and good things.”
Dumestre has created quite the following, as the line up to get a crepe is an indication to how delicious they are.
Crêperie Ooolala offers sweet crêpes from classic Nutella or brown sugar and cinnamon or get a little fancy with the Canadian, featuring peanut butter, banana and raspberry jam or the Exotic with dark chocolate, banana and cocount. If you are more of a savory crepe person there is a breakfast crepes and fancy ones like the Mamamia with prosciutto, sundried tomatoes, parmesan, cheese and onions.
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