Renegade Kitchen, a popular Okanagan food truck, will no longer be on wheels after this summer.
Owner Shaun Sanders says that they are making the move to a physical storefront, and they couldn’t be happier about it.
Renegade Kitchen opened in August, 2018, and Sanders says “It’s been a wild ride.”
He originally opened the business on his own, with some help from fiance Meghan Carr. After the business took off, the couple worked on the truck full time together. Now, the new restaurant will be their first business together.
Located at 467 Leon Ave., Renegade Kitchen and Craft Bar will have all the same plant-based comfort foods that the food truck serves, but there will be more of it.
They’re also bringing back a fan favourite – the avocado fries.
The breaded strips of avocado fried in their signature Renegade sauce were taken off the food truck menu as they were a little too labour intensive.
“People ask me about them every single day that we're open so I'm sure lots of people with be happy they're coming back,” Sanders says.
And, as the name suggests, there will be a full service bar where you can get craft beers and cocktails, as well as local wines.
Renegade Kitchen and Craft Bar also plans on giving Kelowna something that Sanders says is lacking in the community– late night food. He says they’re hoping to be open late so customers can come in and get some vegan comfort food and a pint and just hang out.
As for the look of the new storefront, they’re going for a “funky vibe” with mismatched chairs and furniture, unique decor, and a homey feel.
They’re shooting to open in early September, and have already started working towards getting the space ready.
Although he recognizes that they may encounter some issues given their location on Leon Avenue, Sanders says that they want to help make the area a place where people want to go again.
“We're taking a bit of a leap, but we want to be kind of a force to help gentrify this area, and if more people have the courage to be able to do cool things that bring people down onto the street it's only going to improve the community and make downtown a better place.”
“If nobody has the courage to do anything about it, then nothing is going to change,” he says.
Sanders has his red seal and has been cooking for 12 years, and has been vegan for about four years. He says most of his experience has been in fine dining.
He helped open two restaurants while working for the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver, and was also on the team that opened Brown’s Social House on Harvey Avenue in Kelowna.
He says the support from the community that they’ve received for the food truck has been overwhelming and they’re excited to be moving on to this next step.
“We've had a few ups and downs, but overall it's been really good and we've had so much support from the community and we've definitely felt the love from day one,” he says. “We have people that come every single week, and it's these people and all the love and support we've gotten that has gotten us to the point where we're confident enough to open up a restaurant”
“I want to thank everybody that's supported us so much to get to this point, and we look forward to serving everybody into the future.”