The newest member of the West Kelowna dining scene is ready to open its doors.
After 100 days of renovations to the space previously occupied by La Cucina Ristorante, Il Mercato Social Kitchen will invite the hungry public in to eat for the first time on Friday.
“We can't wait to welcome you,” says a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
A vision of Trevor Jones, who says he’s not Italian but has been around the culture his whole life, Il Mercato is all about family, friends and community.
It’s also about local fare and Italian flair, showcased in a menu created and executed by head chef Darren Kashin.
“We garden, cook and eat together using the freshest local ingredients for the season and we spend time in the kitchen together,” explains Kashin.
“Now, we are ready to do the same with family, friends and neighbours to share food and wine, stories, memories and gratitude.”
Although he grew up with dreams of becoming an actor, Kashin now has years of experience as a high-level chef, including gigs as an executive chef at Sun Peaks Resort and the Kelowna Yacht Club.
He’ll be in charge of a menu that includes five pizzas, a variety of delicious pastas and signature entrées like osso bucco (beef), stuffed chicken and BC trout.
While Kashin makes the food behind the scenes, restaurant manager Hailey Gliege will be in charge of what’s happening in the dining room.
She’s previously been a part of the leadership team at the Mission Tap House and Train Station Pub in Kelowna, but has now settled in West Kelowna with her family.
The highlight of the Il Mercato space that she’s now in charge of is certainly a large and impressive wine wall, which showcases a variety of BC wines to pair with your Italian meal.
Il Mercato is set to open on Friday at 121-3640 Gossett Road in West Kelowna and you can learn more about the restaurant by clicking this link.