Mary’s as it was 80 years ago. A lot has changed since. (Submission from Mary’s Bleue Moon Cafe)

Mary’s Bleue Moon celebrates 80 years

Aviation-themed Sidney eatery celebrated with flyby and 85 guests

A flyby thanks to three local pilots crowned the 80th anniversary celebrations at Mary’s Bleue Moon Cafe last week.

The restaurant, a fixture on the North Peninsula food scene since Canadians marched off to the Second World War, has seen much change over the years, although it maintains its charm as a time capsule, remembering the pilots and great aviation machines of yesteryear.

ALSO READ: North Saanich residents reaching boiling point over illegal dumping

Around 85 people came to help celebrate on July 27 and the party stretched into the night, where a band played for guests and the owners gave speeches thanking their long-serving staff and telling guests the history of the business. Radio Sidney also broadcast the event including interviews with veterans.

Mary’s was founded in 1939 by a man only known as Mr. Green, who sited the business 40 paces from the airport’s front gate, naming it after his step-daughter, Mary Chapman. During the Second World War, Canadian, Australian and British servicemen lined up patiently to sample the 50-cent plates of bacon and eggs. Over the years, the business changed hands many times and was almost torn down and turned into houses in the late 1980s.

ALSO READ: North Saanich man cuts a swathe through invasive species

Jack and Sean McNeill then bought it and added its now familiar aviation decor. It was at this time that Mary’s became Mary’s Blue Moon after the McNeills decided to combine its name with another local restaurant that had been popular in the past. The final touch came from Jack’s daughter Tani, whose interest in numerology persuaded them to add an extra letter, as she said this would bring luck. Thus Mary’s Blue Moon acquired a Gallic twang and became Mary’s Bleue Moon. Jack McNeill died in 2017, not living to see the 80-year milestone but his legacy lives on as he was posthumously inducted into the BC Aviation Hall of Fame in July 2019.

ALSO READ: Sidney businessman, author to be posthumously inducted into BC Aviation Hall of Fame

After the celebrations died down, co-owner Nicola Politano turned her thoughts to the future, and the next 80 years.

“My hope for the future is the customers keep coming in and enjoying the history and good food,” she said.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

 

Two cars parked in the dirt parking lot of Mary’s coffee bar, almost 80 years ago. (Submission from Mary’s Bleue Moon Cafe)

Just Posted

Oak Bay council places 60-day protection order on Island Road house

Developer pulled heritage agreement over ‘exorbitant’ $417,000 fees

Saanich council to dig into long-awaited garden suite study

Detached suites keep families close, provide financial flexibility, mayor says

BIPOC artists come together to paint mural highlighting racial injustice in Bastion Square

‘More Justice, More Peace’ to go beyond cycle of hurt and sadness

Victoria man charged in stabbing death of Vancouver overdose prevention worker

Maximus Roland Hayes, 23, is facing one count of manslaughter in connection to the killing

Firefighters tackle medium-sized grass fire on rural Saanich property

Saanich Fire Department issues warm weather fire safety reminder

VIDEO: Greater Victoria police officers try bhangra dancing with social media star

Gurdeep Pandher leads bhangra lesson on front lawn of the BC Legislature building

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

Most Read