Sequoia Company of Restaurants
The success of the Sequoia Company of Restaurants (Sequoia) – comprised of The Teahouse in Stanley Park, Seasons in the Park, Cardero’s Restaurant and The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant – is impressive. All of the Sequoia restaurants are located in Vancouver. B.C., and have earned the love and support of locals and visitors alike.
Founded in 1978, Sequoia began as one restaurant: The Teahouse Restaurant in Stanley Park. The beloved local institution – a summer tearoom privately owned and operated – was in need of repairs and serious updates; therefore, was in danger of being torn down.
Brent Davies, current owner of Sequoia, took hold of the opportunity to create a unique, year-round dining establishment. Sequoia’s success remains grounded in finding exceptional locations and providing the highest quality of casual fine dining today.
Seasonal Variety and Changes
Sequoia’s Seasons in the Park boasts the most awards in Vancouver’s phenomenal restaurant scene. Established in 1989, Seasons in the Park began similar to The Teahouse; Seasons in the Park was previously known as The Quarry House, as the building’s land used to be the city’s rock quarry.
The owners of The Quarry House wanted to retire and Sequoia again swooped in to create a local dining treasure. The restaurant was closed for a year to complete necessary renovations and the addition of the glass Gazebo-style dining room, now known as a the Skyline Room. Seasons in the Park opened during spring 1989. The restaurant has since hosted numerous notable events, including the 1993 Summit meetings between Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton, which eventually won the bid for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
During the bid, these events were held to showcase the city of Vancouver as a prime location for the Olympic Games. After almost 25 years, Seasons in the Park has transformed again after two years of extensive renovations.
“It’s easy to understand why Seasons in the Park was awarded the Best of the City Dining Gold Winner in numerous years by WE Vancouver,” says Sarah Ng, marketing manager for Sequoia. “People coming back will see a big change. There is a new wine bar and beautiful interior wood finishes.”
Ng can easily hype Seasons in the Parks’ recent evolution, as she is genuinely excited about it. Ng started her path with Sequoia in 2008 at guest services for Seasons in the Park and worked her way up to her current role over the years.
Seasons in the Park is now aimed toward a more casual and approachable everyday dining experience. However, it is still a popular spot for special occasions and a repeat winner of Vancouver’s Most Romantic Restaurant by local reviewers and magazines. Located in Queen Elizabeth Park – the highest point in Vancouver – the view of the city over the water creates an unparalleled atmosphere, complimented by cozy stone fireplaces and warm lighting.
However, Seasons in the Park isn’t the only award-winner in the Sequoia family, as the other three restaurants have also garnered a fair share of accolades. The Teahouse Restaurant, boasting romantic and classic ambiance, is famous for having the longest sunsets in the city due to its location in Ferguson Point.
Cardero’s Restaurant, known for its interesting architecture and décor, was voted Best Restaurant in Coal Harbour. Additionally, The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant is located in the heart of Granville Island, and consistently wins Best Spot to Take Out of Town Guests.
Awards are one thing the Sequoia restaurants have in common, along with an approachable fine dining format, seasonal menus and the use of local suppliers. Nonetheless, the restaurants are distinctly unique and Sequoia likes it that way.
“They all have their own brand,” says Ng. “It’s the place, the people and the effort of each separately that have led to each individual success.”
A Well-rounded Family
Located on waterfront property on Granville Island, The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant is well-known for its fresh seafood, rooftop patio and stunning views. “Whether you are seated in the main dining room, second-level mezzanine, rooftop patio or Teredo Lounge, the view is great from every angle,” Ng explains. “Tucked under the Granville Street Bridge, its nightly live music offerings, fresh seafood, funky nautical décor and sushi bar truly sets the establishment apart. It quickly became a favorite for locals, day or night.”
While each location and clientele varies, all Sequoia restaurants dine a fair share of tourists, businesspeople and locals alike. From The Teahouse in Stanley Park to The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant, the focus for each restaurant remains on exceptional food quality.
Despite the differences, food quality is the bones of each Sequoia operation. Chefs filet fresh fish in-house, stocks and soups are house-made and seafood is Ocean Wise-certified and sustainable. Additionally, local bakery Terra Breads supplies fresh bread to each of the restaurants, which is in line with Sequoia’s overarching tendency to buy local.
The Sequoia family takes its service one step further, ensuring there is something for everyone. With private rooms at The Teahouse in Stanley Park and Seasons in the Park, the two restaurants have the ability to host private events and weddings throughout the year, as well as holiday parties in the winter.
“When things thaw out in March, Seasons in the Park hosts a variety of tasting events in its brand new wine bar twice a month through to October,” Ng continues. “These tastings highlight exceptional food and wine offerings and pairings.”
Davies is well-known for praising his team of managers and executive chefs, all of whom are key players attributing to the success of Sequoia’s family of restaurants. “The four executive chefs are Canadian and have a wealth of knowledge and experience,” Ng says. “From Romania, Italy, and Asia to Montreal and Whistler, each chef brings a unique range of their origin and varied careers to the table. Without the people in the past and the existing team, Sequoia restaurants would not be enjoying success today and hopefully for more years to come.”
According to Ng, nobody knows what will come next for Sequoia. “There are always wonderful, neglected locations that could be transformed into a great new restaurant,” she details. With great locations and a true focus on maintaining a high standard of quality food and service, it is evident that Sequoia Company of Restaurants can look forward to further growth and accolades in the future.