The Burner reignites under new ownership

The Burner Restaurant in Malakwa is once again buzzing with activity under the ownership of Dave Stickle and business partner Shannon Leigh.

The Burner restaurant owners Shannon Leigh and Dave Stickle have revived the iconic Malakwa eatery.

One of the Shuswap’s most iconic restaurants has once again opened its doors.

The Burner Restaurant in Malakwa is once again buzzing with activity under the ownership of Dave Stickle and business partner Shannon Leigh.

Situated in an old beehive burner off the Trans-Canada Highway at 4260 Oxbow Rd., the restaurant reopened at the end of May – just in time for the summer tourist season that’s kept Stickle hopping – not just as an owner but also as a waiter (at least for the time being).

“It’s given me a great opportunity to see the other side of the fence and I would urge anybody that’s ordered a meal to one day grab a pen and paper and try it,” laughs Stickle.

In taking over the Burner, Stickle has also received plenty of information about the structure from former owner Ray Hansen – details such as 1,140 pounds of welding rod was used to put it back together, and that there’s more than an eighth of a mile of galvanized threaded rod holding the beams inside together. This may explain why people who enter the Burner for the first time always look up and marvel at the construction – a sensation Stickle still shares.

“I still go in, look at the ceiling and just marvel at the man-hours and workmanship that went into it,” said Stickle.

Menu-wise, Stickle is keeping it simple with single page menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner , offering the familiar with a few new twists, including specials to appeal to locals.

Open to feedback, Stickle says the best/worst criticism he’s received so far is that the portions are too big and the prices too low.

“That’s the biggest word of mouth out there,” said Stickle.

While the restaurant is currently the Burner’s main draw, Stickle says he has other plans for the property. He says he’s setting up a storage facility behind the Burner, and on an adjacent lot is thinking of setting up a buy-and-sell  with things like boats, bikes, RVs – things typically associated with the outdoors.

“I’m more of an outdoor person and all my industry has always been outdoors – I feel a little cooped up inside the burner,” laughs Stickle.

The new owners also have plans to have a stake in community events, such as logging days events being planned for Sicamous in September. Stickle, a self-proclaimed “chainsaw fanatic,” says he would like to host a chainsaw carving/quick-cut competition with representation from throughout the Interior.

The Burner is currently open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to around 8 p.m., with hours to be extended once the liquor licence is approved.