Dunbar’s beloved British themed pub is once again open for business.
When long time Cheshire Cheese Inn owner Alan Cassidy retired last fall it was uncertain who would take the helm. Fortunately for Dunbar, Jaylene Wilson and her husband Phil McNeill purchased the business and reopened the restaurant in early January 2019.
Dunbar residents are thrilled that the newly renamed The Cheese Inn is continuing to serve up food, drinks and good times that this community hub has been known for since 1979. In turn, Jaylene and Phil are thrilled to be the proprietors of a restaurant they love, and they are excited to add their own distinct touches to The Cheese Inn.
The transition was seamless for Jaylene who worked as the pub’s manager and as a server for seven years, and for Phil who helped Alan out in the kitchen. This was a huge advantage for the couple as they were familiar with the ins and outs of operating the establishment.
Phil has an impressive background in the food and hospitality industry. In his managerial roles he was responsible for opening numerous Lone Star Café, Hard Rock Café and Planet Hollywood locations.
“Our hearts have been touched by the community’s support.” Jaylene Wilson
Regular customers pitched in to help paint inside and update the patio. Jaylene says, “We wouldn’t have been able to do it without their help. It was really beautiful.”
The couple work side by side at The Cheese Inn. Phil runs the kitchen while Jaylene manages the front end.
It’s truly a family affair and it is also a 24/7 commitment. They are grateful for their five children who have been incredibly supportive and lend a hand at the pub. Their son Michael is a manager at the restaurant, and Jaylene has kind words to say about their highly valued staff.
The pub was packed when it reopened on a Trivia Tuesday, which is a well-loved tradition at The Cheese Inn. Dan Haber, a long-standing patron and friend, hosts the weekly event. General knowledge questions are asked and the winning team receives a $50 gift card toward their bill.
It was important to keep the signature classic British dishes that customers know and love such as toad in the hole (pork bangers baked in a Yorkshire pudding with mashed potato, veggies and Guinness gravy), fish and chips, and a variety of pot pies (chicken, cottage, Guinness steak and mushroom, and fisherman’s pie), lamb stew, and liver and onions. In addition, the menu features a good selection of healthy home cooked meals including soups, salads, starters, burgers, sandwiches, and pasta dishes.
Jaylene’s personal favourite is the shrimp and avocado sandwich and she mentions the beer battered Lingcod fish and chips are delicious.
Who doesn’t love a good brunch? The brunch menu is offered daily from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Cheese Inn is also known for its British breakfast and made to order omelettes. The menu includes a variety of eggs Benny dishes and delicious homemade hash browns made from local farm potatoes.
When it comes to dessert, word has it Lynette’s sticky toffee pudding (made in Vancouver) is the best in the world. Try some for yourself – Jaylene says that people get upset if they have run out!
From pies to mains, The Cheese Inn’s meals are made from scratch with as many local ingredients as possible.
They purchase produce grown in Ladner and love to support the farming community where they live.
Jaylene and Phil have introduced live music twice a month. It draws a diverse crowd and local musicians have been asking if they can perform. Check out the website to see who will be playing next.
Their customer base is largely locals although some out of town guests enjoy making a nostalgic trip back to their favourite family friendly pub. From reunions, to parties and celebrations of life, groups like to gather in the welcoming environment.
It is evident that Jaylene and Phil care deeply about The Cheese Inn. She says with a smile, “As any small business owner knows, it’s not about money. I have always wanted to run my own business. It’s a goal we set as a couple and it’s rewarding to have achieved it. I love adventures and challenges. It’s a new chapter.”
Jaylene concludes, “I want people to feel comfortable here. I am proud of The Cheese Inn. It’s a labour of love.”
The Cheese Inn
4585 Dunbar Street, Vancouver BC V6S 2G7