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Oliver's Food Scene has an exciting new resident: Popolo Restaurant opened New Years Eve

Popolo is housed in a former church building offering up a super cool vibe.
Popolo is housed in a former church building offering up a super cool vibe.
Image Credit: Popolo Facebook

Oliver’s food scene just received a welcome new resident. Housed in the former Medici’s Gelato, a building that was once upon a time a church, welcome Popolo! The name translates to “people” in Italian and owner Steeve Rayé says, “I wanted a name to match the building’s history and a place where people gather worked. It’s fun and easy to remember.”

Rayé may be new to the Okanagan, but he and his family are actually legendary on the Vancouver food scene. La Régalade, West Vancouver’s acclaimed French bistro was owned and operated by Steeve’s father Chef Alain Rayé, former owner of Michelin-starred Restaurant Alain Rayé off the Champs-Élysée in Paris. The family created other eateries over the years including Café Régalade on Vancouver’s west side that was operated by Steeve. Most recently he opened Orto Artisan Pasta in North Vancouver, a big change from his French roots.

Sunday brunch frayeur au Popolo. Country terrine egg Benedict on baguette with mushroom ragu.
Sunday brunch frayeur au Popolo. Country terrine egg Benedict on baguette with mushroom ragu.
Image Credit: FB/Popolo

With the cost of real estate skyrocketing in Vancouver, along with the effects of Covid 19 on the restaurant scene, Steeve was looking to move. He checked out a couple of other small Okanagan communities before discovering Oliver. He shared with me that this was not by accident actually. Renowned winemaker/winery owner Bill Eggert of Fairview Cellars had contacted Steeve’s dad, a personal friend, about a newly available restaurant space in Oliver. Alain has moved to the Philippines and started a new life but passed this information on to his son. Almost immediately, Steeve fell in love with Oliver and made his decision to take the space.

Steeve says, “This is such an exciting place to be! The wineries, the farmers, the cideries, there is so much here and so much to do.” He opened his doors auspiciously on December 31, 2020 and has been rewarded with a welcome embrace from locals.

He is excited to meet the locals and build relationships with local farmers and artisans and says his goal is to, “support local suppliers, as much as I can.”

His food is comfort food with soup and sandwiches, breakfast fare and of course fresh made pasta. He will also be continuing the venue's gelato tradition. 

Brioche, apple tarts and other baked goods are made fresh each morning.

Currently hours: Thursday- Saturday 9-8.
Monday -Wednesday 9-3.

Check out Popolo here: https://www.facebook.com/popolo.oliverbc/


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