Break into the Vault Restaurant!,
The Vault Restaurant is a popular place to grab a bite for Cloverdale locals and visitors alike. Known as much for a unique kitschy decor as for its diverse menu of steaks, seafood, pasta and other favorites, it has earned the loyalty of many a diner — and the place has done so well that the owners are opening a similarly-styled restaurant (name not yet chosen) just a few blocks away. We talked with Vault Co-owner Aaron Hotell about what makes this place special:
What was the inspiration for the Vault restaurant?
We took inspiration from the local area at the time. It was an eclectic kind of neighbourhood. We originally wanted to make something that was fun to look at, that had kind of a garage sale look, with very busy walls and decor. That’s evolved and we’ve rendered it down to what we have today, which is a lot more of a social place.
I think my favorite part of our decor is the face we painted, when we first opened up, of Marilyn Monroe’s face on the wall. I enjoy the look of it and the thought of the iconic image. It’s something simple, but powerful.
How would you describe the Vault’s cuisine? What sets it apart?
We aim to make as much as we can in-house. We’re trying to make the sauces and the ingredients – the dishes – all our own. While a lot of restaurants cut corners, I’ve never been comfortable with that. It takes a bit longer getting from the pan with fresh whole ingredients, but you get a different flavour there when it’s being made fresh.
When it comes to what’s popular at the restaurant, our pastas are really good. It’s not your typical spaghetti and meatballs — we see more of an Asian influence with coconut curry and things you might not get elsewhere. It’s relatively creative for our area.
The steaks and the seafood are fresh. We bring all the product in and cut it all, so we’re using fresh-high quality meats. That’s probably the thing I’m most proud of, since it’s just hard to get.
What’s the most popular dessert?
Most popular thing people crave is the peanut butter chocolate pie. That one is about process, not just ingredients. It’s tough to keep up! People actually talk about it when I’m out downtown or wherever, about how they ordered the peanut butter chocolate pie last time they were in and it was awesome.
What’s the vibe like in Cloverdale?
The area is definitely changing. It’s become a bit more refined every year with all the businesses in the area. It’s not uncommon to see old buildings getting renovated and cleaned up. We moved in six years ago when it was very quiet. The amount of new business coming to the area is great. We’re getting a lot of creativity in the area and people who are moving in are relatively young, maybe up and coming.
What else do visitors need to know before they come to the Vault?
This is a place where you can have a good time. And, we take reservations!
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