MaryAlice Deverell fills condiment containers for take-out orders at the Willows Beach Tea Room in Oak Bay. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

MaryAlice Deverell fills condiment containers for take-out orders at the Willows Beach Tea Room in Oak Bay. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

Steady stream of customers remains despite take-out only option at Oak Bay eatery

Willows Beach Tea Room is open seven days a week

Take-out isn’t new for the old-school eatery at Willows beach, but the missing social aspect is affecting some visitors.

The Kiwanis-run tea room in Oak Bay opened in April without the dining-in option due to health restrictions, leaving regulars without a hangout, volunteer Jan Burns said.

“The regulars don’t like it, but the young people could care less, they just want their fries and go sit down,” Burns said with a laugh. “To me the difference is when people come in, you really get a relationship with them. Now we can’t really do that, other than to say hello.”

Recent hot weather weekends were busy, almost as hectic as the annual Oak Bay Tea Party weekend can be, she added.

RELATED: Kiwanis’ Willows Tea Room celebrates 70 years

While Burns likes their onion rings, chicken and fries continue to be the best seller, followed by candy bags and freezies for the kids. After 3 p.m., ice cream is a hit.

Thankfully patrons don’t seem dissuaded by take-out only as the non-profit eatery raises funds for the Oak Bay Kiwanis club. The club in turn supports about 25 charities.

The winter Sunday breakfasts that usually run January to April also got the boot this year, due to COVID-19. Those directly fund Kiwanis Pavilion, a residential care facility serving frail seniors and those who live with dementia.

Staffing remains steady despite the pandemic, and includes 11 paid students plus five volunteers – not all Kiwanians.

Willows Beach Tea Room is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., extending to 5 p.m. starting June 30.

In 2018, Kiwanis of Oak Bay donated $60,000 to charities in Oak Bay and Victoria, and Kiwanis Pavilion Foundation raised more than $100,000 for the Kiwanis Pavilion.

RELATED: Willows winter breakfasts warm souls with music

c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

oak bay

Just Posted

Saanich Volunteer Services Society volunteers head out to deliver this week’s meals to local seniors. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
VIDEO: Weekly meal deliveries help brighten the day for Saanich seniors

Seniors are delivered nutritional meals by a group of volunteers every Wednesday

Kidspace, which took over the YMCA-YWCA childcare centre at Eagle Creek Village, plans to reopen the Y’s fitness centre as the Eagle Creek Athletic Club in September. (Photo courtesy of Kidpsace)
Former Y fitness centre in View Royal aims to reopen in September

Kidspace taking over both the gym and the childcare facility at Eagle Creek Village

Cheyenne, six, Savannah, three, and Jeremiah Sinclair, 8, were out on walk with their mother on June 4 when they discovered the first of several hundred fish that died after bleach leaked into Reay Creek. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Spill in Sidney’s Reay Creek turns into ecological lesson for local children

Federal-provincial investigation ongoing into what appears to be a bleach spill

Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics B.C. kicks off with a run at Swan Lake on June 6. The virtual fundraiser runs until June 20. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Torch run seeks to scorch previous fundraiser, targets $75,000 for Special Olympics

Global movement shoots for 40,000 km in honour of the 40th anniversary

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read