A fire on Sept. 20 of last year left the nearly six-decade-old Alder Inn inhabitable, displacing tenants including Schnitzelz restaurant.
Owner Sunil Vasdev said he had spent the previous four years building up a regular customer base and working 12 hours a day.
An electrical fire sparked in one of the inn’s upper rooms – resulting in “significant” smoke, fire, and water damage that lead to the Township council decision to demolish the structure.
Vasdev told the Aldergrove Star that his family was heartbroken, but the spent much of the following months searching for a new location.
”Corona came in-between planning, so everything internally was halted,” Vasdev said. “But as we moved into the new normal, we were able to move forward.”
Above all, he said the worst part of the experience was having to let go six people who were employed by Schnitzelz before the fire.
Vasdev said his priority was to stay in Aldergrove, but there were few options to house his business. Then, a vacant location in Abbotsford presented itself earlier in 2020.
Months of paperwork, renovations, and settling in has now finally paid off.
As of Oct. 15, Schnitzelz is back up and running in a new location at 33324 South Fraser Way – unit 4.
“We did a soft opening this past week to test machinery and get a feel for everything,” Vasdev explained. “We did pretty good.”
Vasdev, who also resides in Abbotsford, has had experience in the fast food world, previously managing a McDonald’s and a Five Guys Burgers and Fries.
He said he always wanted to manage his own business with his own menu, which features an array of different schnitzel meals and sandwiches.
“It’s too early to say how things are going to do,” Vasdev said, though he said he knows he still has the support of his Aldergrove regulars.
“About 60 or 70 per cent of people who came on the first day were people from Aldergrove,” Vasdev noted.
Old signage of the former restaurant is still on Alder Inn building, which will see complete demolition later on this month.
People can find out more at www.facebook.com/schnitzelzabbotsford.
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