What makes you different, unique or stand out?
“We have remained the same style place since the get-go, from branding to our menu items,” says Pilar Vasquez owner/operator of Chillabong’s Bar & Grill. “Most restaurants shift or change their menu frequently or with the seasons. For us, it is about familiarity, customer favourites and good pub food.”
Pilar and the Chillabong’s team cherish and maintain the neighbourhood pub feeling, where everyone feels welcome from the first visit to the tenth. “You will feel like you are coming home for a visit with family,” says Vasquez. “We love getting to know our customers and strive for an inclusive and enjoyable atmosphere.”
Throughout the ups and downs of COVID-19 restrictions, restaurants were forced to rethink how they would continue operations and keep their businesses open. Like their peers, Chillabong’s began shifting from inside dining to patio service (when able) and filling takeout and curbside pickup orders.
“Sure, people could order some food to enjoy at home once in a while, but we couldn’t pack up the Chillabong’s experience in a to-go box,” says Vasquez. “This has been our biggest struggle throughout the pandemic. For some people we were their only socialization and connection during the day, this element has been incredibly missed.”
Why do you do what you do?
“My father-in-law is a fairly social person and has always been very passionate about the hospitality and tourism industry,” says Vasquez. “Going out for a drink, getting something to eat and connecting with people and community was how it all started.”
Pilar and her husband began taking over management of the family business in 2003 and after having their child, Pilar left her financial background to embrace Chillabong’s full-time.
“We love Red Deer, the community and the businesses are amazing and so are the people,” says Vasquez. “We have a great relationship with our vendors and local breweries like Troubled Monk. Tourism businesses around here work well together, they take their best assets and come together for the better good of the community.”
What can guests (local or visiting) expect to experience?
“We want visitors near and far coming in to visit, to enjoy the atmosphere, have a fantastic meal and experience the best service,” says Vasquez. You know you’re in for a hearty meal with menu items like the Nacho Poutine or their very own Chillabonger burger, but do offer lighter options like Fish Tacos or the Steak Salad.
“Our menu is full of traditional pub favourites, including everything from burgers and steaks to chicken wings and salads,” says Vasquez. “Our cooks use fresh ingredients to make sure that your food always tastes great AND we have the coldest beer in town!”
Chillabong’s Bar & Grill is an adult-only (18+) establishment and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, daily food/drink features and Happy Hour from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm every day. VLT machines and an ATM are available on location.
“We are well known for our Wing Night Wednesdays (the wing box),” says Vasquez. Their Steak Sandwich is another big hit and made affordable at $12 a plate from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm daily. “We get lots of compliments on the quality and we only use local Big Bend Market steaks,” says Vasquez.