Soca, Red Apron, Farinella, and Corner Peach — restaurant expansions amidst the pandemic
Eating & Drinking

Soca, Red Apron, Farinella, and Corner Peach — restaurant expansions amidst the pandemic

Honing in on their strengths fuelled some chefs to think big. Here are four business owners who expanded their offerings — and their spaces — this year

Photo Courtesy of Red Apron

Red Apron
Take-home pioneer Red Apron has moved down the street to 410 Gladstone, doubling its space and adding a fine outdoor patio. According to co-owner Jennifer Heagle, they had outgrown the space long ago. 

“We really love being in Centretown, and since the majority of our staff and customers live within walking distance of our location, it was important to us to stay in the area.” 

The future looks bright as Heagle and her team have big plans for that pretty patio. 

Photos courtesy of The Soca Kitchen and Plantain Cartel

The Soca Kitchen and Plantain Cartel
After seven years on Holland Avenue, The Soca Kitchen is expanding. Chef-owner Daniela Manrique and her team are taking over the 224 Beechwood Ave. space formerly occupied by Sutherland’s to launch Plantain Cartel, a new casual line of South American patacones. (Patacones are twice-fried green plantain slices typically served with toppings.) 

The new space will house Soca’s dining space as well as Plantain Cartel and a market area, with the casual areas open for lunch, dinner, grab-and-go, and casual eat-in; Soca will stick to serving dinner.  

Photo Courtesy of Farinella

Pizza and gelato restaurant Farinella saw a metrelong pizza-sized hole in the west end of Ottawa, and on April 29 opened a second location in a historic stone house at 806 March Rd. 

Their new place sells its signature metre and half-metre pizzas, as well as eight different flavours of gelato It was an expansion born of COVID-19. 

“Thanks to the pandemic, we were able to work together at a slower pace and more closely. We had time to do things properly, without it being overwhelming. This gave us confidence to open another location,” says co-owner Nina Agostini. 

Corner Peach 

Corner Peach, one of the first restaurants to pivot to a bottle shop and takeout model, has doubled its space, taking over 1,000 square feet of a former bike shop next door to their space at 802 Somerset. “We plan to turn this space into The Corner Store — a little bodega with sandwiches, baked goodies, wine, and coffee — and Corner Peach will become a restaurant again one day,” says chef and co-owner Caroline Murphy. 

Murphy and her business partner Emma Campbell realize that the industry is experiencing staffing challenges and want to bring a new approach to their opening hours. 

“We hope we can grow our operations as decided by the staff available to us, as opposed to overworking our team.”