New Union Street owners to stay the course

A change in ownership at Union Street Grill & Grotto won’t mean a new direction for the popular Courtenay eatery.

Zhao Zhengfu — front right

A palpable wave of relief has washed over the loyal customers of Union Street Grill & Grotto after it has become clear that a recent change in ownership won’t mean a new direction for the popular eatery.

The restaurant’s new owners say they have no intention of straying from the path that Union Street has followed for the last 20 years. That stability, in fact, is what attracted them to the restaurant in the first place.

“We were looking for a business that was well-established and successful, as well as involved in the community,” says Zhao Zhengfu, who purchased the restaurant with his wife, Weihong Liu, in July. “Union Street was the perfect choice for us. We’re very happy with how things have worked out, and we’re excited for the future.”

Zhengfu says he’s grateful for Union Street’s amazing employees, all of whom have remained and are helping him get acquainted with the restaurant. Several in fact have stepped forward into management roles.

“At the beginning, there were a lot of details to work out, but now everybody knows their role and things have fallen into place,” says Fannie Blanchett, who’s in charge of the Grill side and is one of three managers. “Obviously, to become managers means more responsibilities, but I think we were all ready to handle it. It was a great opportunity for us to challenge ourselves, be more creative and express our ideas while being totally involved in the business.”

Che Ligertwood, an employee who stepped into the role of manager of operations, says there are no immediate plans to change the menu or other aspects of operation. The focus, he says, is to keep customers happy by offering the same high-quality, fresh meals they’ve come to love, including Union Street’s extensive gluten-free menu.

On the Grotto side, Ligertwood says they will take advantage of recently updated liquor laws and introduce some sort of happy hour, and they plan to ramp up the live entertainment aspect by offering more opportunities for local artists.

“Union Street Grill and Grotto is a cornerstone of a vibrant entertainment scene,” he says. “We want to maintain and enhance that involvement, and to continue to support the community as much as possible.”

Located at 477 Fifth St., Union Street Grill & Grotto is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and take-out.

For information on daily specials and gluten-free and allergy-aware options, visit or call 250-897-0081.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

Highly poisonous mushroom found fruiting near Filberg Park

The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign will launch on Nov. 13 this year. Black Press file photo
Salvation Army Kettle Campaign ringing this year with an electronic twist

The new tiptap machine used by the Salvation Army will be set at $5 denominations

Jimmy Carter, left, is pictured with country music legend Willie Nelson — one of many musicians featured in a documentary about the former U.S. president. The film, Jimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President, is the latest feature in World Community’s film series. Photo supplied
Comox Valley non-profit presents ‘Jimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President’

World Community’s film series continues Nov. 6-8 with a new uplifting film,… Continue reading

The Calgary Zoo is aiding in recovery efforts for the Vancouver Island marmot, an endangered species. Pictured here, a marmot at Mount Washington. (Black Press file)
Despite challenges, 2020 good year for Vancouver Island marmot population

In 2019, the foundation counted 60 pups; this year, it reached 46

Several local schools took part in Student Vote for the B.C. election. Black Press file photo
Students in Student Vote support NDP in Comox-Courtenay

Unlike actual vote, students in Mid Island-Pacific Rim back Greens

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

MMFN First Nation has said that it will restrict access to portion of Highway 28 that passes through the Nation’s land until a road use agreement is reached. (Black Press file photo)
Vancouver Island First Nation blocks highway access to logging trucks in Gold River

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation restricting access for Western Forest Products pending road deal

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

From left: Rick Weaver, Anita Eldershaw-Pitman and Area A director Daniel Arbour at the Friendly Port Child Care Centre. Photo supplied
District funds enable expansion at Union Bay child care facility

A grant from the Comox Valley Regional District will help create eight… Continue reading

Cowichan Search and Rescue set up near the Silver Bridge in Duncan on Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, 2020 to rescue a dog from the Cowichan River. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Search and Rescue save dog from icy Cowichan River

Search and Rescue’s swiftwater team was called in

Most Read