A landmark Victoria establishment may look and taste a little different to familiar customers as it re-opens today following recent renovations and redesigns.
Earlier this year, the team behind Victoria’s award-winning Fol Epi cafe and Agrius restaurant announced that they were leasing Paul’s Motor Inn Diner to create an organic eatery.
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For those who may be worried that the 63-year-old diner may have lost its familiar style, the new restaurant – now called Paul’s Motor Inn Diner by Fol Epi – retains just as much old-school appeal and flavour as it did before, according to staff.
“It’s the diner with a Fol Epi Twist to it,” Paul’s Motor Inn Managing Director Ian Powell told Victoria Buzz.
“Is liver and onions still on there? You bet it is,” he said. “But now there’s also stuff that Fol Epi is known for.”
In terms of aesthetics, the Fol Epi renovations have been careful to maintain the 1950’s diner atmosphere that the motor inn is known for.
“[The renovations] actually make it look more like an old diner,” said Powell. “There’s booths in all of it, but the booths in the front when you first come in have been replaced with a bar and stools for single customers.”
“It’s definitely a diner.”
First opened in 1956, Paul’s Restaurant & drive-in has been a landmark establishment in Victoria for decades. It was later renamed Paul’s Motor Inn and Diner when the hotel portion was added in 1971.
Over the past six decades, the inn and restaurant has served many customers, from locals to a growing Victoria tourist market.
“We’re just delighted,” said Powell. “For me… it’s taking an old classic and adding a twist.”
“We were very clear and cognizant that we still wanted it to be a diner, and that Paul’s Diner had old patrons and a following. We just wanted to augment that.”
One comment that seems to keep reappearing, Powell notes, is that people appreciate a larger location to pick up Fol Epi dishes.
“‘Oh you mean we can have Fol Epi food and we can park the car?’” joked Powell. “Yeah, and it’s not under a parking meter.”
The new Paul’s Diner by Fol Epi is ready for new and old patrons starting today, July 5th, and will be open seven days a week.
Paul’s Diner by Fol Epi
- Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., daily
- Location: 1900 Douglas Street