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…