Fernie has long been known as a town with restaurants above it means. Larger nearby communities such as Cranbrook and Lethbridge envy Fernie’s abundance of fine food establishments. The foodie trend is linked to Fernie’s history as a coal mining capital and now a tourism destination. Adding to that list of fine eateries and taking top spot in Fernie’s charming historic downtown is The Livery Restaurant.
The building that the restaurant is located in has always been special to Fernie residents. It is hard to miss the iconic two story stone building that sits on the corner of Victoria Avenue and 7th Street. The old cobble stone structure, large arching entrance and main street frontage all show signs of old town heritage.
The building was built in 1908 for the Fernie Livery, Dray and Transfer Company, delivering milk, feed, coal and other goods around the area using horse and wagon. Constructed with stone from the banks of the Elk River, the building is truly part of our community.
Over the years, the building has seen everything from horses, an auto shop, fruit storage and retail stores. Now, being home to The Livery Restaurant on the second floor.
The stonework is really striking as you walk up the staircase to the restaurant. Although the building has seen some change inside over its life the beautiful old stonework is still on show and for me, is a feature of the restaurant’s dining space. Along with this, fine wood finishing has been done by the local woodworkers to really bring out a warming character in the building. The incorporation of some horse themed art and logo design exemplifies the owner’s interest and recognition of the building’s heritage.
If the building itself isn’t impressive enough the premium yet casual dining experience that The Livery provides is second to none.
The menu is carefully put together and really shows head chef Barrie Elliott’s passion for innovative and interesting flavors, using when possible seasonal produce from the area. For a fresh Mexican inspired dish you can’t go past the Halibut Ceviche with jalapeno, lime scallion and spiced tortilla chips.
“The maple and coffee smoked duck breast on a parsnip and potato rosti with pomegranate molasses is definitely one of the favorite dishes on the menu and something I would like to consider holding onto with the seasonal menu change!” explains Barrie as we talk about the menu and what to expect for the future.
The Livery has one of Fernie’s most distinguished wine lists that showcases an extensive selection of both well known and boutique producers. The wine list has been composed by Lisa Ritchat who has listed wines from the great wine producing regions of British Columbia and around the world.
Don’t be scared by some of the fancy words on the menu or wine list, if you like good food you will not be disappointed. The great team at The Livery are keen to share their passion with you and make your experience a good one.
Worthy of mention are the weekly specials they have on at the moment like one pound of PEI mussels for $12 on Mussels Monday. Another great initiative they have is their late night menu. Running from 10pm – midnight the lounge menu is available if you get hungry or feel like winding down with a glass of wine or one of their award winning cocktails.
The Livery has something for everyone and is well worth a visit even if it is just for that late night drink. Fernie locals will confirm that they are doing things right at The Livery!
For more information see liveryrestaurant.com
Photos by Charity Barkwell
Some content provided complements of Fernie Tourism and Fernie Historical Society