Soma is closing down at the end of March. Area residents and serial restaurant watchers will remember it moved in June 2007 from its Main Street location to an old house (circa 1892) two blocks north and just a few steps in on East 8th Ave (a stone’s throw from the old Aurora Bistro, now Wallflower). The change saw Soma upping its concept from coffee and wifi to wine and small plates, with a big chalkboard and silver chairs (a la Salt Tasting Room) lined up at a 26ft long bar.
It’s a great building with a long and colourful history. The old-growth fir posts and beams have played host to families, travelers, a haberdasher, a chocolatier (Mr. Bain perfumed the east side air here for 20 years), and – gasp – a brothel. The location has already been snatched up, and so it goes. We’ll have more on that later.
Andrew Morrison is a west coast boy who studied history and classics at the Universities of Cape Town and Toronto after an adolescence spent riding skateboards and working in restaurants. He is the editor of Scout Magazine, the weekly food and restaurant columnist for the Westender newspaper, a contributor to Vancouver and Western Living magazines, and a proud board member of the Chef’s Table Society of BC. He lives and works by the beach in Vancouver.