The ever-evolving Restaurant Graveyard series looks back at the many long-gone establishments that helped to propel Victoria’s food and drink forward. Explore the ever-growing A-Z with maps and photos here. If you have photos/stories to share, send to andrew [at] islandist.ca.
Overtime was opened in 1988 by an ownership group that included John Cantin (John’s Place), Howie Siegel (Pagliacci’s) and former Vancouver Canuck Geoff Courtnall. The 50 seater had all the accoutrements of a sports-themed restaurant and bar; even though it predated the ubiquity of flat screen televisions the walls were decorated in memorabilia and the table tops were display cases for baseball cards, hockey game programs and other printed materials relevant to the milieu. More popular than televised sports was the jukebox, which featured a diverse selection of CDs; everything from Muddy Waters and REM to Madonna and Depeche Mode. (True story: front of house managers would use a discreet remote to fade out and cancel any jukebox song that might be getting on their nerves.)
Overtime had several personalities. In the daytime, the patrons were an odd mix of divers (there was a dive shop next store), truant coffee-sipping students from Vic School, and first responder rank and file. With Memorial Arena right next door, the evenings would see lots of pre-game and post-game diners, plus the occasional rush of concert-goers. But late nights – after all the other restaurants and bars in the city had closed – is when Overtime (open until 3am) would get especially crazy. A small army of drunks, partiers, and hospitality staff would bumrush the place to line up for the kitchen’s last call. The menu was all over the place, but popular standouts included the deep fried squid, the basmati rice balls stuffed with cubes of edam, and the espresso milkshakes.
Overtime was sold in 1995 and would eventually be gutted to become a Korean restaurant called BQs. It didn’t last long, and the property would eventually be demolished and transitioned into a succession of car dealerships. None survived.