“Boneta” Moving Into Cool New Gastown Digs This February…

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As announced last night at Boneta’s birthday party, the popular Gastown eatery’s time at 1 West Cordova is coming to a close. That might have caused some furrowed brows and maybe even a tear, but fret not, as owners Jeremie, Mark and Neil aren’t finished just yet. As a wise old man once said, now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning…

Here’s the exclusive skinny.

In February of next year, Boneta will close and reopen in a new location just a lob wedge away in a new Gastown development known as The Garage. You know that mysterious courtyard spot (prone to a dozen rumours since completed last year) behind L’Abattoir and the original Shebeen, the one that’s all glassed in and brand spanking new? That’s it: 2,222 sqft of prime virgin space with entrances through Gaoler’s Mews, Water St., and Blood Alley.

I checked it out as a temporary “pop-up” gallery in the Spring and hoped against hope that it would be turned into a restaurant once it was finished. It’s one of those unique, totally killer spots that is set back from the street, away from the drifting weekend Red Bull yahoos and Old Spaghetti Factory tourists. If anyone could make it work, it’s these guys (kudos to Robert Fung of The Salient Group for getting that).

What does it give Boneta that it didn’t have before? An 800 sqft solarium equipped with five sliding doors; floor to ceiling glass and a roof that’s over 30% glass; a U-shaped bar with 12 seats; a year round heated and covered courtyard patio  for 12 (think Brix); and brand new everything from electric to A/C.

They’re downsizing the seating capacity a little, from 100+ to 65-75, but I’ll be the last to complain about that as I think intimate is better for the concept than spread out. The artwork – something Boneta is known for – will be making the move, too, as will much of the original room’s motifs (they’re hoping to recycle/reclaim plenty).

As regular readers and diners might remember, they were only supposed to be in the Cordova location for one year, but one year turned to two, and now three is enough. They had a countdown clock on their website when they first opened back in 2007 (now long gone), and they hope to get it back up soon to let diner’s know how much time they have left to enjoy the original, which will be sorely missed.

For my part, I’ve had a lot of good times and made many friends in that room. I’m sure that’s the case with many of you as well. Join us in digging it while it lasts…

  • Construction of the original Boneta with Neil Ingram, Andre McGillivray, and Jeremie Bastien
  • Neil Ingram attends to his many charges
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  • Neil Ingram pours a glass at Boneta (now closed)
  • Bobby Kay sees something she likes at Boneta
  • Boneta Halibut
  • Boneta
  • Boneta
  • The Last Days of the original Boneta
  • Boneta
  • Trevor Kallies of The Granville Room and Bobbi K of Boneta face off
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  • Simon Kaulback of Boneta pours for his Kentucky High Kick
  • Bobbi K of Boneta tastes her Maker's Bark
  • Boneta
  • Boneta
  • A friend at Boneta prepares with a beer goggle straw..
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  • Boneta
  • Hard at work readying the new bar at Boneta for the arrival of its old top
  • Boneta
  • Chef Jason Leizert at Boneta
  • Simon directing traffic at Boneta
  • Neil pours Torres at Boneta
  • Boneta bar detail
  • The old Boneta. Funny how they got through 4 years in Gastown without a broken window and then someone puts their first through one just four days after they close!
  • The paper is up at the old Boneta
  • The crowd gathers at Boneta

There are 6 comments

  1. It’s an amazing space to be sure, and I feel the vibe will be more than appropriate for this restaurant. Nice work guys. Can’t wait for it to open. Boneta is still my favourite restaurant.

  2. So with Boneta moving and rumours that Salient has a new project in the area, are we safe to assume that Robert Fung will be working his magic on the existing site?
    Curious to see what’s planned for the place as it’s been packaged with the old pig and whistle site for years and will certainly have a large impact on blood alley in the right hands.

  3. I walked through there today and the space is still empty and the kitchen has not even been started yet. February opening will not happen and if they start it soon I would guess 3 months from then.

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