1460 Trans Canada Hwy. NE
Salmon Arm, BC V1E 4N1
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Focusing on Service
Salmon Arm Observer (Feb 7/07)
Table 24. The name signifies the beginning of new ventures for Gina and Lenny Wells.
It was at table #24 in a Salmon Arm restaurant that Gina and Lenny met. Gina, whose surname was Solosth then, was dining with her family; Lenny was their server.
Now, seven years later, the name is the one the couple has chosen for another new venture in their lives.
Gina and Lenny Wells are the enthusiastic owners of what will be Table 24, an upscale restaurant to be housed in the old courthouse on Hudson.
“It’s not going to be stuffy or pretentious, but it will be upper scale,” explains Lenny.
It will feature an intimate atmosphere, remarkable food and memorable service, the couple says.
“I’m passionate about service,” enthuses Lenny, who has experience in pretty well every aspect of the restaurant business, from serving to management. “Don’t get me wrong – I love food and wine. But I really have a passion for service.”
Gina, with a background in organizing special events from weddings to corporate dinners, loves paying attention to detail.
“I’ve been calling them curtains but I’m learning they’re window treatments,” Lenny laughs.
Lenny has been in Salmon Arm for about 10 years, while Gina grew up here. Some will remember her as a former Miss Salmon Arm.
The main floor of the new restaurant, adjacent to the future home of the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Centre, will feature 14 tables and, on the upper floor, the former courtroom will be a private dining room that can seat as few as 10 people or as many as 60.
Although their duties won’t be narrowly defined, Gina will oversee special events while Lenny will manage the service end of the restaurant. They say they’ve carefully considered all their work experience, with an eye to creating an atmosphere that both the customers and the employees will love.
“We’ve taken all our good and bad from past jobs...,” Gina says. “We’ve really tried to create every position to be that dream position.”
Rather than prepping staff for two or three days before the restaurant opens, the couple plans to work with them for two weeks in advance.
“We’ll do the guinea pig things before you come in,” Lenny smiles.
The restaurant plans to employ 20 to 25 staff. Table 24 will be open both for lunch and for dinner, but the emphasis for lunch will be a little different. It will cater to business people in the downtown core who need a quick meal, Lenny says.
“It’s centered around that – it’s understood people only have half an hour to 45 minutes.”
Dinner will be a more relaxed experience. Table 24’s menu will incorporate fresh ingredients, local as much as possible, with a variety of poultry, seafood, beef, pasta, pork and vegetarian. There will be a three-course dinner menu that will change every week.
The building will be part of the experience. The Wells note that during renovations, the Douglas-fir hardwood flooring and the Enderby brick walls were found to be beautifully intact, so they have been preserved.
“What we’re trying to do is enhance the integrity of the building but updating it with more of a modern flair,” Gina says.
Table 24, to be located at 20 Hudson Ave. NE, will be opening in May.