The Diner
By YP Contributor

British Fare for the City

In a city as multicultural as Vancouver, citizens have it all when it comes to food. This variety is one of the biggest measures of the city’s growth and change over the years. Tucked away on 10th Avenue in Point Grey is a restaurant that adds to this diversity, but hearkens back to Vancouver’s days as a smaller, cozier place.

At The Diner you’ll find the standbys of British fare: fish and chips, corned beef hash and more, including “the full English breakfast” — that is, bacon and eggs, fried tomatoes, baked beans, fried bread and hash browns. “It’s a big favourite with the UBC students,” says Stella Shurety. She’s the forthright, plain-spoken proprietor, humble but proud of her restaurant’s old-country staples, which also include homemade steak-and-kidney pie. Tradition is the watchword here, from the baked beans to the Royal memorabilia.

Our customers aren’t customers, they’re friends. - Stella Shurety, owner
The Diner, Table service restaurant, traditional British food, homemade pies, fish and chips, full English breakfast, corned beef hash, fried bread

Family Ties

At The Diner, British fare is a family affair.  Stella’s co-workers include her husband Reg, daughter Jean, son-in-law Tom and granddaughter Barbara. Her late brother was the establishment’s founder; after his passing the family made a decision to carry on with the business, which has been in its Point Grey location since 1960.

Stella herself has served in restaurants all her working life, and she says the vocation is a natural fit. “I’m a people person. You have to be in this business.” At The Diner, family life, social life and cultural life meld into each other comfortably.

The Diner, Table service restaurant, traditional British food, homemade pies, fish and chips, full English breakfast, corned beef hash, fried bread
Décor is a big thing for these folks.

If these Walls Could Talk

Over the years, Stella has seen customers grow from youth to old age. It’s common for them to return after years abroad and find things pleasantly unchanged. “They come back and they say, ‘Oh, it’s just the same as it was, isn’t that lovely,’” she says. There’s an ethic of preservation in the restaurant, seen most prominently in the decoration: the walls are teeming with old pictures and mementos, many of them contributed by loyal patrons.

“Our customers aren’t customers. They’re friends,” says the owner. Many of these friendships stretch back decades, and you can trace them along with the history of modern Britain in the interiors of the restaurant: photographs of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, promo stills from a British television classic, a snapshot of Stella with her arm on a patron’s shoulder. There are more faces hanging on the walls than can be seated at the tables; it’s certainly something to look and marvel at while you’re munching your steak and kidney pie.

The Diner, Table service restaurant, traditional British food, homemade pies, fish and chips, full English breakfast, corned beef hash, fried bread
The essential British beverage.
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