March 27, 2015, Victoria, BC – Opening a restaurant specializing in brunch and rotisserie chicken next door to Denny’s and KFC could be perceived as a big gamble, but when The Ruby opened at the funky, retro-inspired Hotel Zed last week, both the restaurant and hotel owners knew exactly what they were doing – introducing a space that offers a locally-owned, high-quality alternative to the fast food chains.
The Ruby, a blend between a New York style rotisserie and an Austin style breakfast joint, is driven by restaurateurs Chris Jones and Josh Goyert. Specializing in brined, dry rubbed rotisserie chicken that is gently roasted for two hours before being served, Jones and Goyert believe that Victorians and Hotel Zed guests will fall in love with a menu built around the signature dish.
“I wanted to present a concept that was different, yet felt familiar, to diners,” says Chris Jones. “The Ruby invokes a sense of nostalgia, based around the slower preparation of rotisserie chicken, which brings out the best possible quality, texture, and taste. We’re serving great food, not fast food.”
The Ruby’s rotisserie chicken is made from farm fresh birds from the Fraser Valley that have never been frozen. Each bird is then brined for nine hours before being rubbed by a signature dry rub (Jones is keeping this recipe secret) and placed on the rotisserie. And, rotisserie influences the entire mid day and evening menu. Each of the salads incorporates chicken breast, and items like chicken dip, rotisserie chicken tacos, and chicken soup are offered.
Breakfast items, built around ingredients from local partners, are designed to build upon classic menus items with an added twist. Naturally, in the brunch-obsessed community of Victoria, there are waffles and eggs benedict; however, the menu adds duck confit and spiced rotisserie chicken, alongside locally roasted Discovery Coffee and Red Barn bacon.
The concept for the Ruby was originally developed and presented to Mandy Farmer, president and CEO of parent company Accent Inns in July 2014, and she immediately saw the potential. The space, formerly occupied by the Butterdell, was to be reimagined and spill out into the Hotel Zed lobby, inviting the cool, eclectic features like vinyl record players, to mix.
“We wanted a unique restaurant at the Hotel Zed to match the overall experience, so it had to be something that no one was offering, and Chris and Josh presented a concept that immediately had us salivating,” says Farmer. “Nothing against the long-standing chain next door, but having tasted The Ruby’s rotisserie chicken, there’s no going back. I am confident that Victorians and Hotel Zed guests are going to love The Ruby.”
The Ruby will be open daily from 8 a.m., serving breakfast until 2:30 p.m., with the signature rotisserie chicken served from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, menus, and event listings, visit therubyvictoria.com.
About Chris Jones
Chris Jones’ career has been closely watched by the Vancouver Island Food and Beverage media publications. He has been covered in the Times Colonist, Vancouver Sun, Eat Magazine, and YAM Magazine for his accomplishments in the past several years. Upon returning from multiple posts in Asia in 2006, Chris embarked on a five year remodeling of Inn at Laurel Point’s food and beverage program as their Food and Beverage Director, and opened the award winning AURA waterfront restaurant + patio. After leaving the Inn, Jones used his expertise to form a hospitality-consulting career, which covered a range of projects from multiple openings, rescues, and temporary director posts to extremely high-profile catering events. For the past three years, Jones has been the contracted caterer for all bands, celebrities and artist food services for Atomique Productions (Rock the Shores and Rifflandia). Most recently, Jones completed a temporary contract at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel as the Director of Food and Beverage before departing to follow his dream of a breakfast spot serving amazing chicken. Now, Jones has created his own his own brand with partner Josh Goyert in The Ruby.
About Josh Goyert
Josh Goyert comes from a lineage of gastronomical influence. With his mother writing a best selling Canadian cookbook, Josh started at a young age bouncing around catering events while his mother ran a successful catering company in northern British Columbia. Shortly after landing on Vancouver Island, Goyert began his career in the service industry, working with Jones through the opening of AURA waterfront restaurant + patio and continued to sharpen his skill set there for the next five years. After taking a short leave from the industry to focus on health, nutrition and personal training, Goyert rejoined forces with Jones by assisting him through multiple hospitality contracts, most noteworthy as the Director of Artist Catering Operations for Rock the Shores for the previous three years. After nine years of good work together, Jones and Goyert decided to put their relationship to the true test and open The Ruby.
About Hotel Zed
We’re a ridiculously fun and eclectic hotel in Victoria, BC, Canada that is so awesome your mind will be blown. We’ve got bold colours, retro-style and modern technology. Plus, typewriters, record players, comic books, Ping-Pong lounge, Wii and the coolest ’67 VW shuttle bus. We also serve delicious rotisserie chicken at our on-site restaurant, The Ruby. Our laid-back lobby lets you make friends with others or your own inner Zed. We are rebels against the ordinary! Doors were thrown open in May 2014 by Mandy Farmer, one of Profit’s Top100 Canadian Women Entrepreneurs, aka President/CEO of Accent Inns – Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Employer-of-the-Year, BC Business Magazine’s 5th Best Company To Work For in 2011. www.hotelzed.com.
Brian Cant, Tartan Group: 250-592-3838, 250-888-8729 (cell) or [email protected]