Communal Beat

Avenue Café


You can’t miss the buzz in the valley! Lately, lots of local food and beverage businesses are starting up or changing hands. Gregor and Michelle Mowatt, the new owners of the well loved Avenue Bistro, are excited to be a part of the movement: all are contributing to our local community and collaborating with local farmers, wine makers, and brewers.

Gregor and Michelle Mowatt

Gregor and Michelle Mowatt

We had a great chat with Gregor recently, and it’s a dream-come-true for the couple to have a business together. Last year, when Gregor was moving on from Crown Isle, he and Michelle started actively looking for options – maybe even a fixer-upper. His background is in restaurant management and wine importing; hers in human resources management.

Now, instead of starting almost from scratch, they are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue the tradition of great food, friendly service and impeccable style set by Sandra Viney and Trent McIntyre, the couple who started Avenue and are now focusing their energy on their downtown Courtenay hotspot, Atlas Café.

Sandra Viney and Trent McIntyre of Atlas Cafe

Sandra Viney and Trent McIntyre of Atlas Café

Not only has Avenue has been the favourite restaurant of the Mowatt family since they moved to the Valley three years ago, but it turns out that Sandra and Gregor worked together at the very stylish CinCin on Robson Street in Vancouver in the ‘90s.

Fast forward, the two couples celebrated the transition of Avenue Bistro ownership at the beginning of March. The warm service and great food continues– all your favourite dishes plus some lighter fare for the summer.

3 months in, Gregor and Michelle are settling in, adding some personal touches like bright flowers and new art, and above all, are enjoying the experience of an incredibly warm welcome and tremendous support from the staff, local suppliers and happy clientele.

Avenue Interior

Avenue Interior

Their happiness and gratitude shows. Gregor talks about how cool it is to really feel like a part of the community and get to know everyone. He specifically mentions how it’ll be wonderful to have people grow with them: coming out ‘en famille’ one time, for a big party another and a romantic dinner the next.

Naturally, they’re counting themselves in! You’ll see the whole Mowatt family sitting down to dinner together every Sunday. They are having fun and it comes across in the food. After all, as Gregor says “food tastes better when everyone’s positive!” We agree! See you there.

If you haven’t stopped in yet, meet Gregor and Michelle at the Avenue Bistro at 2064 Comox Avenue. For reservations, call 250- 890-9200. Plus, you can check out the new website at


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