Applebee’s becomes Chad’s West Coast Grill & Bar

Applebee's in Courtenay has became Chad's West Coast Grill & Bar.

One of the Comox Valley’s favourite causal dining destinations is about to get even better – more creative, more local and a lot more diverse.

Chad’s West Coast Grill & Bar opened its doors Wednesday at the corner of 29th Street and Kilpatrick in Courtenay — the same spot local restaurateur Chad Huff has operated since 2010 under the banner of a major international casual dining franchise.

“Serving the Comox Valley as a franchisee has been an overwhelmingly positive experience, and yet my wife Julie and I are incredibly excited to be launching a destination that’s truly reflective of our community,” Huff said. “As a franchisee, there were always restrictions on what we could do. We wanted to introduce more locally inspired fare to our menu, and more items that are in line with the healthy, West Coast lifestyle.”

To help adapt a menu to reflect local tastes, Huff has brought in world-class executive chef Jamie McMath, formerly of the Chateau Jasper Hotel in Alberta. McMath has created a diverse menu that offers West Coast flavours like steaming mussels, Asian-inspired lettuce wraps and succulent striploin steaks while still honoring the favourites.

“Those who have gotten to know us through our old brand will still find a lot of the things that made them love us in the first place,” says Huff. “But a whole new range of fresh, healthful items like salads, locally inspired pasta dishes and seafood are going to appeal to a new slice of the Comox Valley dining public.”

The Huffs and their staff began training Monday behind closed doors with the new menu, re-invigorating the décor and preparing for Wednesday’s launch. Berlyann Perrier will continue as general manager.

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