Restaurants and Cafes

Restaurants and Cafes narrated by Gordon Davies

Elite Café 

George A. Bevan built this building and ran a confectionery and fruit store. Jack Beynon took over the building, made it longer and started a restaurant, serving meals but also maintaining the confectionary. Jack’s wife Annie did the cooking. Jack left to join the war efforts in 1915. There is mention of a Cochrane Restaurant in 1918 operated by Charley Sing and in 1924 there was a Club Café. These may have been in the same building as Jack Beynon’s restaurant. The Braucht family came to Cochrane in 1925 and they were operating the Elite Café when the Fisher Block burned down and almost took the café with it. This family also mentions they had the Rose Café in Cochrane after 1930. In the 1930s the Kwongs ran the Elite Café and in 1946 it was purchased by Bill Sinclair. The Elite Café was a family affair advertising “the Biggest Ice Cream Cones in Town, Take-out Fried Chicken Dinners and Deluxe Hamburgers.” The building was then sold to Gordon Hinther and run as a Chinese Restaurant “Seven Stars”. In the late 1960’s R.E. Moore purchased the café and old butcher shop, demolished them and added an addition to his Modern Supermarket. 

Elite Cafe

White Café 

Stanley and Ruth Waters came from Calgary to Cochrane in 1920. They rented a business section in the Chester Block (Howard Block) and started the White Café. Ruth stated, “We were busy from the first day.” They also enjoyed the Cochrane Races and ran a refreshment booth there. 

Mrs. Allan’s Tea Room 

In 1924, Sam and Marion (Minnie) Allan took over the Tea Room and Confectionary from Ruth Webster that was located in the Cochrane Hotel and later they moved the Tea Room to a Building right next store and to the west of the Hotel. (presently the Hotel Parking Lot). They advertised “Lunches Put Up For Tourists”. They operated Mrs. Allan’s Tea Room until 1942 when they sold it to Enid Gammon. She sold the business to the McCurdy’s in 1949 who in turn sold it to the Steinmetz family in 1955. The Steinetz’s renamed Allan’s Tea Room, the “Chinook Café – Home of Fine Foods.” They also made the café larger when Mr. Brodie sold them his barbershop space that was in their half of the building. The Chinook Café was then run by Ellen Bryant in the late 1950s. 

Range Grill 

This café was located behind the Cochrane Hotel and the building is still standing. It was built by Eustace Bowhay and he sold it to the Sailors in 1945. Later Laura Kells purchased the business and ran the Coffee Bar. Yvonne (Blow) Callaway worked for Laura and in 1952 Yvonne’s mother Mabel Blow ran the business while renting the building. Laura returned to operate the business in 1958 and renamed it the Range Grill. It was a popular place for teenagers and Laura was a wonderful mentor to them. Then the Fraser family ran the café for a short while. Laura sold the business to Gus Graff in 1966, who in turn sold it in 1967 to the Veselic Family and the restaurant was renamed the “Ponderosa”. 

Cochrane Café 

“Charlie’s” Café was located on Main Street on the west side of the Kerfoot and Downs Hardware and in the 1960s – 1980s it was a very busy place. Charlie Quon and his family operated this café until the early 1980s. Their son Harvey graduated from Cochrane High School. Later it was sold and expanded to the west and is presently called Cochrane Café. 



Cochrane Cafe

Kissin Kuzzin’s 

When the Cochrane Valley Centre was built in the late 1970s a lovely restaurant called the Kissin Kuzzins was located on the top floor. It had a lovely view and Banquet Rooms. It was a different kind of restaurant for Cochrane and much enjoyed by all. It remained for quite a few years and then was sold and became the Pheasant Plucker Restaurant. In the 1990’s it was closed and the area became the Cochrane Fitness Business. 

The Home Quarter Restaurant 

In the former Foodmaster Store Joan and Clarence Longeway opened the Home Quarter Restaurant on 1st Street. It was a great asset to the dining experience in Cochrane. It welcomed families with children, the day time coffee clubs and the afternoon tea crowd as well as opening early in the morning and catching the breakfast crowd. In about 1991, Joan and Clarence renovated the Home Quarter and added a Fine Dining Area to their already very popular restaurant. Saturday night roast beef and their great homemade pies were a favourite. The Dining Room was also booked for many weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. This restaurant is now HQ Coffee Emporium. 

With the increase of people moving to Cochrane due to the Jumping Pound, Petro Fina gas Plants and Spray Lakes Sawmills, the town of Cochrane businesses expanded. The 4th Avenue Mall added a new Drug Store and Dry Cleaners among other needed businesses and the Cochrane Valley Shopping Centre held a new supermarket the IGA, a Dress Shop and many other permanent businesses so that much of the shopping in the Town and surrounding districts could be done in Cochrane. 

A1 Drive Inn 

The first Drive In to come to Cochrane, the A1 Drive-In was opened in 1968 by Irene and Bill Hawes. It was a great novelty for the high school kids to leave campus at noon and go down and get a hamburger for lunch or even stop in after school. Take out was a new thing for the residents of Cochrane and area and very popular. The Hawes’ operated the Drive-In for a short time before selling it to Joan Wong in the early 1970s. Joan is still operating in 2008 on 6th Avenue and the highway, across from the IGA. Today there are numerous places to get a fast-food fix. A&W, Dairy Queen, Tim Hortons and most Gas Stations have food to go. 

2 thoughts on “Restaurants and Cafes”

  1. Great article. However, the Home Quarter was in the old Main Street Snack Bar building that was beside Foodmaster. There was a doorway between the two businesses before it changed to the HQ.

  2. Very interesting. So nice to hear the narration by my second cousin! I remember going to the Elite cafe. Didn’t know my Mothers aunt and Uncle owned a restaurant and that Aunty Annie was the cook!


Leave a comment

want more details?

Fill in your details and we'll be in touch