Friday, May 17, 2024

‘Super success’: Boomtown throws block party to bring Harris Green community together


One of downtown Victoria’s very best burrito spots with arguably the best patio in the city wanted to throw a party to remember and, needless to say, achieved that goal.

Boomtown has been a mainstay of the Victoria food scene since the day they opened their janky, yet endearing front doors to Yates Street and the people of the Harris Green community. 

Because they’ve been around for a little while and they’ve had a chance to work out some of the kinks that come along with opening a restaurant in this city, Co-Owner Christian Barnard told Victoria Buzz they decided to throw a big party for the community that has embraced them so warmly. 

“Harris Green,” exclaimed Barnard. “We sort of got talking and said, ‘you know there’s not a lot of community out here,’ It’s just odd.”

He explained how the area is so densely populated and will only become more so in the coming years with more developments on the way. He feels lucky to have been able to open Boomtown in the heart of Harris Green to provide a meeting place for anyone and everyone. 

“That’s one thing I’m super proud of, is just how many different people get stoked on it,” Barnard said. “It’s wild.”

The block party Boomtown threw on Saturday, August 19th was by all accounts a success, and even though their space is small and they were unable to get Yates Street blocked off to spill out into the street, Barnard and the crew at the city’s favourite beer garden went all out. 

“My head is spinning, man, actually thinking about it,” Barnard explained. “There was a lot going on.”

“It was a super success — I mean, what didn’t we do?”

One of the main attractions of the day was that the walking ramp on the building’s facade was turned into a make-shift skatepark with 13 semi-pro skateboarders competing in a best trick showdown. 

“We handpicked 13 dudes because that ledge is… gnarly is the word,” Barnard laughed. “It was incredible, it was short and sweet, but really, really action packed.”

Another one of the many festivities was the dog costume contest. It is incredibly important to Boomtown that they always remain a pet friendly patio space and even feature an ever-expanding ‘dog wall’ in the restaurant in which staff have been documenting any and every pet that comes through. 

The costume contest winners featured some impressive coordination with the dog-mom and dog-dad, according to Barnard. 

“I’m guessing we had photos of about 35 dogs and then we had to give the prizes out,” he told Victoria Buzz. 

“It was a tie for first and second and third with a special honorable mention for Estelle, the block queen.”

On top of the contests and the plethora of prizes donated by other local businesses, the food and drink menus were expanded for the day to include some special fare for those who attended. 

“Farm + Field Butchers did a huge pig on a spit so we had some amazing specials like torta, corn ribs, some watermelon cucumber salad,” said Barnard. 

“We sold a lot of Margaritas — Andrew had a callus, he must have made, I don’t know, over 600 margaritas easily and that was just margaritas,” he laughed. 

For the next block party, which Boomtown plans on making an annual occurrence, Barnard and the rest of the crew are already thinking of ways they can improve and expand the fun.

“Much to the chagrin of our neighbours we might try to have a small live music component,” Barnard told Victoria Buzz.

He also explained how at Boomtown, their neighbours are of the utmost importance to them, which is why they opted to close up shop an hour early on the day of the block party at 10 p.m. to avoid being too bothersome. 

“We just wanted to ease into it,” he said. “I mean we are licensed to operate until midnight but we don’t because of two reasons — one, is we actually give a shit about our neighbours and two, is quite frankly, nothing good ever happens after 11 [p.m.].”

Next year’s block party may also include a dunk tank, three-on-three basketball and hopefully a way to expand out onto the boulevard in a safe way in order to accommodate more community members, according to Barnard. 

Keep an eye peeled for Boomtown’s block party next year. By the sounds of this one, it won’t be one to miss!

Curtis Blandy

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