Shaughnessy Otsuji (L) and Chaylene Lidell (with baby Poppy) in front of their just-opened Pink Avo cafe. Winners of the Downtown Langley Business Association new business contest, the two had to overcome several setbacks that delayed opening by more than a year. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Ryan’s Regards: Ordering food? Eat local!

Just as Langley City was picking up speed, COVID-19 shut down the new found bustle it had going

I was really starting to enjoy the growing bustle of downtown Langley.

I do think that I’m better suited to smaller environments , but I also occasionally yearn for my days spent in a very loud Yaletown studio apartment.

And while that noisy stretch full of nightclubs, patios, sushi restaurants, and horns is only a hop, skip, and a jump away – I hadn’t felt the need to venture there for the much of 2020.

My Langley neighborhood had facilitated just about every entertainment need because youthful businesses seemed to be popping up on a daily basis this last little while.

Egg Bomb suddenly exploded onto Fraser Highway – offering a unique Asian-inspired brunch menu that seemed like it could only come out from the depths of downtown Vancouver.

The Raving Gamer offered a mixture of pub fare with the trendy option of playing a board game while you eat.

A little further on down the road, Ramen Bella opened their doors in a cozy looking corner space – right next to a stretch of restaurants that include Annora Pacific Northwest Fare and The Katsu Cutlet House.

A little more east and the long-awaited Pink Avo cafe finally debuted last month with a trendy-looking urban atmosphere that promoted my girlfriend to say the moment we stepped inside “have we been transported to Yaletown?”

Then there’s the brand new Farm Country Brewing that looks to be the agriculture-inspired beer haven I’ve been search for all these years.

In all the time that I’ve lived in Langley, the arrival of these businesses made me really proud and excited to call the City home.

READ MORE: Ryan’s Regards: “The virus will pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass”

I was seeing hoards of people – younger people – outside and actually off their phones. They were socializing with others while giving these new establishments a try.

As we all know, the COVID-19 outbreak put a wrench into both consumer’s and small business owner’s plans.

Just when the downtown core was developing an exciting pulse, we were all forced into our homes while many of these places were faced with the hardship of closing their doors.

Many are still open and do offer take-out and delivery. A few that I’ve spoken to say they doubt the clientele will be enough to keep them going for too much longer.

If small businesses are going to survive, they are going to need our help.

If you choose to order out during this social isolation stretch, please make it from a local business.

Something unique. Something original. Something Langley.

Chains and fast food restaurants will easily survive through these difficult times, it’s the smaller ones that are going to have insurmountable wounds to lick.

Consider a local meal, and, after we’re all allowed to go and frolic together again, let’s try and pick up where we left off and keep this city’s vibrancy growing.

We’re all going to want to head for a table with our friends and swap COVID-19 battle stories – so let’s use our free time now to start planning out which places we’re going to try when that day comes.


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