Refurbished beach tea room opens Sundays

The cozy Kiwanis-run Tea Room at Willows Beach is now open for breakfast on Sundays in a pilot project that will support the organization’s Pavilion facility dedicated to caring for seniors requiring specialized dementia care.

The 29-seat beachfront restaurant in Oak Bay, normally open in the spring and summer, has just started opening on Sundays between 9 a.m. to noon, offering $10 breakfasts, made and served by a team of six volunteers.

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The fundraising program will run until late April, when the popular tea room usually opens for the warmer weather, serving snacks and meals into October.

Customers have a choice of two breakfasts. One offers eggs, bacon or ham, hash browns, toast, juice, and coffee or tea.

The other offers pancakes or French toast, a fruit cup, bacon or ham, juice, and coffee or tea.

New windows were installed last year in the tea room, which is more than 60 years old, finally eliminating drafts and leaks, said Brian Beckett of the Oak Bay Kiwanis Pavilion Foundation and long-time club member. “That has made a huge difference in terms of how we see the operation of the place because it is now warm and dry all winter long.” The kitchen has also gone through renovations.

The foundation raises about $100,000 a year for its 122-patient Pavilion on Cedar Hill Road. The Vancouver Island Health Authority covers accommodation and medical care of residents. “It doesn’t provide any of the niceties like the furniture and the drapes and music programs and that sort of thing,” Beckett said. He came up with the fundraising program after hearing about Sunday morning breakfasts served to veterans in Washington. He visited Sequim three months ago, thinking “we could do that.” A couple of trial runs before Christmas led to a Jan. 6 opening, when 60 meals were served. If anyone wishes to make a donation, there’s a jar on the counter.

For information, check kiwanisclubofoakbay.com. Anyone interested in volunteering can call 250-595-7001.

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