Reborn as a casual restaurant from four-diamond Fresco, RauDZ opened in 2009 with the philosophy, “Support local, buy local, eat and drink local.” After seven years, thousands of guests, litres and litres of wine, and dozens of awards, the well-loved restaurant earned a refresh said owners Audrey Surrao and Rod Butters. In keeping with the commitment to the community and partnership with regional farmers, ranchers and food artisans, all elements of the redesign dovetail with the 115-year old heritage brick building’s history. And you guessed it, local interior designer Jorin Wolf and Tim Bullinger of Arca 3 Design who created RauDZ sexy sister property micro bar • bites, were engaged for the transformation. While the 21-foot heritage pine table lingers as centrepiece, the renovation goes well beyond cosmetics. Even the industrial-style restrooms are converted to an upscale at-home environment. The entire bar is reconfigured for efficiency and showcases the liquid chefs and their mixology magic. On-tap beer selection doubles to accommodate the explosion of local craft brews. The glassed exhibition kitchen stays, although behind-the-scene refinements increase efficiencies. The blackboard of quotes bids farewell creating a backdrop for a local artist’s 3-D metal-wire sculpture. Wooden tabletops and expansive 28-foot bar are distressed complementing the warmth of the eye-catching pendant lighting. Working with Spatula Media + Communications on the new look menu for guests to explore, Rod Butters and Executive Chef Brock Bowes continue to develop seasonally-inspired dishes. Clearly, RauDZ embraces the tenet of American business magnate and philanthropist John Davison Rockefeller Sr., “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” Feast your eyes on RauDZ, open daily at 5 pm.

~ Roslyne Buchanan