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Since his great-grandfather had originally intended for the Harmons to house a family-run business, once the most recent crop of tenants’ leases ended, Hutchings renovated the building with plans to use the biggest space for his own restaurant. Partnering with his wife B Watson, Christian and Dagny Dubois, and chef Ryan De Alwis, Hutchings envisioned a cool and comfortable space that would live up to his great-grandfather’s vision for Banff.
“As a longstanding Banff family, we wanted to return something to Banff that we thought was missing from the town,” Hutchings says. “We wanted something that celebrated arts and culture, something that was a gathering place for locals as well as tourists, where you could relax and enjoy yourself.”
In this respect, The Radiant is much more than a restaurant. The main dining area is an exquisitely designed jazz age delight, complete with a ritzy bar and a small stage to host cabaret-style concerts, drag brunches, and other performances. Up front is “the parlour,” a bright sunroom perfect for lunch or a mid-day drink. The restaurant has also been able to take advantage of Banff Avenue’s status as a temporary pedestrian walkway with an expansive outdoor patio.
The room is a stunner, but De Alwis’ food is reason enough to drive out to Banff for a visit. De Alwis has been cooking in the area for several years, most notably at Banff’s Block Kitchen and Bar, and his menu is a carefully concocted collection of dishes drawing on a global array of flavours, including nods to the chef’s own Sri Lankan heritage. So far, the runaway hit has been the tandoori chicken ‘n’ waffles ($25), which brings together pakora batter waffles with Indian-spiced fried chicken and seared halloumi. It is a must-try dish at any time of the day, but sharing is advisable so you can also fit in treats like the We Come From Many Places coconut curry succotash ($19), the A Tuna Matata marinated ahi tuna with panko-fried avocado ($26), and pastry chef Anna-Engel Lebiadowski’s Indonesian-inspired Not Nanaimo Bar ($19) for dessert.