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New Wind Cries Mary spinoff will take over Sherwood cafe space

Friday was the cafe's final day of operation

On Friday, downtown cafe and restaurant Sherwood—launched 5 years ago by the owner of Habit Coffee—ended its last week of service. But just as it wound down, news came that a spinoff of another downtown Victoria mainstay would take over its prominent location across from Victoria city hall.

Bastion Square bar and restaurant Wind Cries Mary announced on Friday that it will be moving into 710 Pandora with a new venture called Rudi.

Sherwood had been known for its elegant green-hued decor, high-quality local ingredients, and the double-duty it played as both a brunch-coffee spot and a dinner-and-drinks destination.

Wind Cries Mary branches out

Our readers voted Wind Cries Mary (named for a Jimi Hendrix song and its owner’s wife) one of Victoria’s three best date-night destinations, with its cozy, candle-lit, brick-walled interior and its hidden courtyard.

Its menu features seasonal and shareable plates with a focus on “nose-to-tail” meat, while its cocktails are livened up with local ingredients. This year it won the Spirited Award for Best International Restaurant Bar – Canada.

Its announcement on Friday called the takeover “exciting and bittersweet,” praising the Sherwood team and calling the now-closed restaurant “a community hub for the last five years, a favorite spot for our staff, and somewhere we could always excitedly recommend to our guests as their next stop.”

Sherwood officially closes after five years

Less than two weeks ago, Sherwood owner Shane Devereaux announced he had sold Sherwood, citing the effects of the pandemic and other ongoing challenges in the industry.

His goal had been to create an all-day cafe—in a city notorious for early closures—and initially Sherwood delivered that with cafe, brunch, dinner, and bar service. Earlier this year it dropped its dinner service and scaled back to mid-afternoon closures, but still served breakfast, brunch, and lunch along with coffee and baked goods.

“I'm exhausted, my family needs me, and my staff have done the work of heroes for way too long,” Devereaux wrote. “Ultimately, an offer has come in from some truly great local people who will take over the space with some fresh ideas and more importantly, the needed energy and resources to make sure this amazing community space continues.”

Those locals turn out to be from Wind Cries Mary, bringing a new name and seemingly a new colour scheme replacing the recognizable green-on-green-on-green of Sherwood—Rudi’s logo features purple-blue letters on pale pink.

Few details yet on new restaurant Rudi

There has been no announcement yet on exactly when the space will reopen or what it will serve.

The new Instagram for Rudi has no posts yet, but the bio bills it as “An exploration of identity, story, food & home.”