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Restaurant set to open on Victoria’s Pandora Avenue bike lane to offer cyclists ‘ride-thru’ option

Dobosala Cantina and Ride-Thru is set to open this March.

The restaurant will open on the Pandora Avenue bike lane in the city’s downtown core. (Image: Google Maps)

Have you ever been cycling along the Pandora Avenue bike lane, only to pass a restaurant and think, “I wish there was a drive-thru window that I could ride up to in order to place an order, because this trek has given me a craving,” Victoria riders?

Wish no more, because a new addition to your local dining scene is promising just that.

According to reports, Dobosala Cantina and Ride-Thru, set to open on Pandora Avenue, will provide a take-out window for local cyclists — a testament to the growing influence of bike lanes on local businesses. Though the bike lanes have faced predictable criticism from some in the Vancouver Island city’s business community, others, like the restaurant’s owner and operator Kunal Ghose, see opportunity.

And it’s an opportunity that will no doubt spell delight for many in Victoria’s cycling scene.

“I felt like, why not embrace the city’s choices?” Ghrose said, referring to the city’s investment in bike infrastructure. Riders, he said, will have the ability to hop off the saddle, make an order at a take-out window, and then ride up to a second window to pick it up. And as far as he knows, his “ride-thru” restaurant is the first of its kind in Canada.

“People are pretty stumped by it initially,” Dhosa explained, speaking to CTV reporters, “but it’s as simple as any other take-out window or kiosk. The menu’s going to be designed for you to get your food right away.” For Dhosa, the idea comes full-circle from the reasons why he got into the restaurant business in the first place.

“Many, many years ago when I first started in kitchens,” he said, “it was to buy myself a bike. Now I’m making food for people on bikes to come up and hopefully create a destination spot.” To Victoria mayor Lisa Helps, meanwhile — an avid cyclist herself — the restaurant’s ride-thru option reflects that bike lanes, and the cyclists who use them, have become a driving force in the local economy.

“I think it’s great,” Helps said. “What’s most interesting to me quite honestly is to see bike lanes stimulating economic development.”

The restaurant, another of Dhosa’s contributions to Victoria dining — the restaurateur has two others on the map, called Fishhook — will offer “Indo-Pacific” cuisine, a mash-up of Pacific Rim menu choices with an Indian flavour.

Dobosala Cantina and Ride-Thru is scheduled to open this March.