Sang Hong of Convenience General Contracting in Red Deer sands drywall in the new Restaurant 27, which will be moving into the former Capers Pizza and Ribs location at 3301-50 Ave. Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

By Harley Richards – Red Deer Advocate

Published: April 01, 2009 9:26 PM
Updated: April 02, 2009 7:29 AM

A downtown Red Deer restaurant will soon extend its servings south.

Dwayne and Darren Gauthier, who own and operate Restaurant 27, have purchased Capers Pasta and Ribs.

They are currently renovating the No. 4, 3301 50th Ave. eatery and plan to re-brand it as Restaurant 27 and Lounge, with a focus on lunches and evening fine dining.

The original Restaurant 27, which is located at 4819A 48th Ave., will operate as a breakfast and lunch spot.

The Gauthiers, who are twins and whose backgrounds include work in the oilpatch, opened Restaurant 27 in January 2008. They’ve emphasized fine dining in the 45-seat restaurant, featuring the likes of bison, duck and elk.

Although their first eight months as restaurant owners were tough as they struggled to promote the business and persuade first-time customers to give Restaurant 27 a try, said Dwayne, things have steadily improved.

“The last six months have just been phenomenal,” he said.

In fact, the only negative feedback from customers has related to Restaurant 27’s tight quarters.

“We’re just busting at the seams for the volume of food that we’re putting out of that tiny little kitchen.”

The former Capers, with more than 2,000 square feet of kitchen space, should allow the Gauthiers to broaden their menu and operate in more comfortable surroundings.

It will also give them seating for more than 130, including 78 in the dining room, 38 in the lounge and 16 in a private dining room with a viewing window into the kitchen. There are also plans to develop a patio with space for about 40 people.

Operating since 1979, Capers was most recently owned by Long Huynh.

“I’ve always had my eye on the place,” said Dwayne. “The location is fantastic.”

He and Darren have gutted the premises and are now redeveloping from scratch. Former customers won’t recognize the restaurant once work is done, said Dwayne.

They plan to reopen as Restaurant 27 and Lounge on April 25, with the original Restaurant 27 to adopt its breakfast and lunch schedule on April 20.

Dwayne, who took culinary arts at NAIT and has worked in and managed a number of restaurants, will look after the kitchen. Brother Darren will be responsible for front end of operations.

“It’s going to be really unique to Red Deer and really have that “Wow!” factor,” said Dwayne.

hrichards@reddeeradvocate.com