About the Southside Diner
In the spring of 2003, the infamous Southside Deli closed it doors for the last time, leaving the hung over people of Creekside in a bind. Briefly, the quaint location was taken over by Rodney’s Oyster Bar from Vancouver, who called the restaurant “The Screaming Oyster” and had high hopes for a fine dining experience. Although, despite the restaurant being located below a hostel, with scenic views of the gas station, the “The Screaming Oyster” was not a success. Eight months after opening, and over $400,000 in renovations, “The Screaming Oyster” also closed their doors.
The location was up for grabs and many locals were interested in opening a restaurant. Uli Schnurr, who already owned two successful restaurants in town heard that the young Les Ecker and John Henry were interested in opening their first business and he bowed out allowing the boys a chance. Les had previously managed the Savage Beagle night club and bartended at all the local watering holes and John Henry, aka Johnny Wishbone, managed Garfinkels nightclub. Thanks to ‘The Screaming Oyster’ very little was needed to be done prior to opening the doors as the revived ‘Southside Diner’.
Now I am not going to lie, the first year of business was a little rocky. With the owners and most of the servers coming from nightclubs, we knew very little about serving food and even less about waking up early to serve coffee and breakfast! Although with new alarm clocks, lots of caffeine and a couple hard lessons, the “Southside Diner” survived the first year. Johnny Wishbone, always a mover and a shaker, went on to other adventures, prompting us to call our dear friend Dave Keen, who was enjoying a relaxing two year vacation travelling around the world.
Since Dave had managed Citta Bistro for over a dozen years, we knew we needed his experience. So we insisted that he leave the beach, become a part owner of the “Southside Diner” and get back to work! Fortunately Dave and Les had friends who are red-sealed Chefs who came to join the team to help write the menu and revive some old diner favourites. Dave has since moved on, but the Diner has become a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, to enjoy a meal, catch up on the latest gossip and maybe even have a few beverages. We hope you will also become one of our regulars!