It’s the end of an era, of sorts, for Elisabeth’s Chalet Restaurant.
Owner Dave Sidhu has changed the name to Royal Hut and changed the cuisine to Indian. He said there were a number of factors that pushed him to switch up the place, but the single biggest factor was that he’s lost a large portion of his base of regular customers.
“Many of our regulars have moved away and we don’t see them anymore,” explained Sidhu. “And the majority of our current regulars are very old. So we don’t see them as much either. Add to this that many South Asians are moving to Cloverdale and it seemed the only option for us.”
He decided to move ahead with the switch because he couldn’t envision going back to the quiet nights Elisabeth’s was seeing before COVID. He said they would get a smattering of customers on the weekends and zero during the week for lunch. Sidhu was thinking about changing the restaurant over to Indian cuisine for awhile, but COVID was the final straw.
“For two years, we were shut down. We had nothing,” he said. “We are still struggling. We don’t know what’s happening. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.”
Inside, the restaurant looks the same, but a new chef is working the kitchen.
“We’ll be keeping the decor,” he said. “We’ll be keeping a small menu with Elisabeth’s Chalet items, the popular items.”
Sidhu said his new chef has prepared an Indian cuisine menu and he’s mastered the Elisabeth’s Chalet menu. He added his regulars are thrilled he retained some of the Elisabeth’s menu.
“It’s one place with two types of cuisine,” he noted. “Customers have been surprised. It’s a different experience. And our regulars aren’t disappointed. They said they like the new menu and they’re happy we still have some of the old menu available.”
Sidhu wants Cloverdalians to come down to Royal Hut and give his new chef a try. He said the restaurant is still fine dining and they still hold themselves to the high standards Elisabeth’s Chalet Restaurant was known for.
“We’re not copying anyone. We’re putting our own stamp on the menu, including unique foods and deserts.”
He said they’ll still have their signature black forest cake too.
“It’s very popular,” added Sidhu. “We make it in-house—we make everything in-house—it’s been on the menu for a long time and it’s going to stay on the menu.”
Sidhu said he thinks Royal Hut will appeal to a wide variety of people. He hopes restaurant goers understand that while Elisabeth’s Chalet menu is smaller, it’s still on offer, and that the Royal Hut menu has a wide appeal and will offer patrons some distinctive food and flavours.
“Our new menu is unique, but it’s the same place,” noted Sidhu. “We have new cuisine and it will be a new experience, but it will be the same quality food and service.”