Aurora Bistro Has Closed

November 19, 2008 

Saddest. News. Ever. It’s been bottled up (and leaking) for the last few days, but now it’s official.

After more than five years of operation in Vancouver’s emergent Main Street neighbourhood, Aurora Bistro has closed its doors. Aurora Bistro opened in June 2003 to rave reviews and has remained a popular regional restaurant winning numerous awards.

Despite the restaurant’s broad following and significant acclaim, it recently became evident that the business could no longer remain profitable and continue to operate.

To close the restaurant was a difficult decision to make, but after committing five years to Aurora as a hard-working chef and active restaurant owner, Jeff Van Geest is ready for a fresh start and welcomes more time to spend with his family.

“I want to thank my incredible staff for their hard work and dedication to Aurora. I also want to sincerely thank our suppliers, customers, our dear industry friends and the food and wine media for their amazing support over the years” says Van Geest.

When an award-winning, eco-conscious, local-friendly, and all around awesome restaurant can’t find enough customers to fill 30 seats a night, I wonder at the future of our restaurant scene. Too pissed at my own city to say much at the moment. Please comment, leave best wishes, and discuss in the forum.

  • Kurtis Kolt

    There’s no tangible way to express the overwhelming positive influence Jeff Van Geest & Aurora Bistro have had on my life, both personally and in my career in this city. To be a part of something that was so inspiring, fulfilling, honest and fun and that will always be a part of me makes me feel so fortunate.

    If there’s any solace to be taken in this, for me it’s that Jeff didn’t sell out to the highest bidder, bring on a partner who could have steered things another direction, or dumb down his concept or outlook in favour of making an easier buck. Aurora was always and will always have been JVG’s vision, from opening to closing, and will always remain a jewel on Vancouver’s culinary map. Jeff’s influence in this city cannot be overstated. Like Seinfeld, the guy went out at the top of his game (and as many of us know, he’s equally hilarious).

    Cheers to Jeff, and the excellent team at Aurora Bistro. You should take much pride in what you have been able to accomplish. You’re well-loved in this city, and we look forward to the next chapter.


  • Scout Magazine

    Well said, Kurtis.

  • sean Orr

    Here, Here.

  • that guy

    Wow, ’nuff said…

    p.s. If this isn’t a wake-up call to support the “little guy” then I don’t know what is!

  • bix

    “Pissed at your own city?” That’s just economics buddy. It’s not the responsibility of citizens to patronize restaurants out of charity. Sure the food might be great, but Vancouver is just too expensive a city to live in, period. Unless a restaurant has a very solid foundation to stand on during a recession, then fine-dining is just not going to be a resilient business.

  • Soopy

    It was the poor location that did it in. I enjoyed my one and only dining experience there years ago, but the relative inaccessibility (look at those ridiculous intersections) and seedy neighbourhood do not make for a good upscale casual dining restaurant.

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