Waldorf Hotel To Go Boutique With Refit & New Restaurants…

August 24, 2010.

IMG_0636

This is so rad that I have goosebumps and its like 29 degrees here in the vineyard’s shade…

The 63-year old Waldorf Hotel at 1489 East Hastings, originally designed by Mercer & Mercer in a (then) modern style, has been picked up by restaurateur Ernesto Gomez (Nuba, etc), architect Scott Cohen (Gastropod, etc) and musician Thomas Anselmi (Copyright, etc). They are now in the midst of renovating the iconic but much neglected 30 room hotel with a complete concept/branding overhaul and “boutique” status being the ultimate goal. We were given the exclusive details a couple of days ago.

Here’s the choice pull quote from the creative brief:

In 1955, capitalizing on an emerging interest in Tiki Culture, the complex was transformed into a “tiki” themed hotel. Original architects Mercer and Mercer restyled the existing decor, replacing the minimalist features of their original design with an exotic motif influenced by tribal cultures of the Polynesian islands. The newly renovated Waldorf quickly became known for providing a unique dining and entertaining experience that included authentic Polynesian cuisine, art, music and dancing. Catering to an affluent clientele of executives, citizens, visitors and guests, the hotel was an immediate success. This prosperity continued up until the 70s when, as the neighborhood found itself in decline and it’s clientele began to shift down market. Several attempts to revive the hotel in the subsequent years have not been successful at restoring its iconic status […] The group see potential to re-enter the market as a boutique hotel, targeting a different clientele. A dominant trend in the hospitality industry over the past ten years, boutique hotels have emerged as a popular option for smaller sized properties looking to appeal to customers who wish to have a unique experience when visiting a hotel. In the local economy there are high-end hotels that have a “boutique” strategy but none that cater to a mid-range customer. In many other markets this positioning has proved very successful, examples include: The Drake in Toronto, The Ace in Seattle, The Jupiter in Portland. The Waldorf aims to offer the same type of cultural experience for a midrange price creating a totally unique positioning for itself in the local economy.

In addition to their aesthetic and creative assets in Cohen and Anselmi, the partners have brought in chef Ned Bell of Kelowna’s Cabana to lead the food and beverage side of the operation. If you’re notfamiliar with the guy, he was once upon a time a sous chef to Rob Feenie and a Food Network star in his own right. I’ve known him for a few years now and he’s got serious game. His new playground will see a 120 seat “value-oriented” cafe showcasing hotel classics and Pan-American street food at Nuba prices (ie. cheap), a 60 seat dining room for Basque and Southern French fare at bistro prices, and a 100 seat patio (arriving next summer) serving Mexican seafood from an outdoor grill. On the Liquor Primary side, they’re keeping the 97 seat Tiki bar as close to the original as possible with exotic drinks and DJs spinning vinyl on an all-analogue stereo system featuring vintage Lansings Hartsfield speakers.

If that wasn’t kickass enough, they’re also creating a state of the art multi-media performance hall licensed for 300 people and playing host to the new location of Barbarella, the popular Main St. salon and barbershop. Throw in multiple projectors playing looped films throughout the building, a recording studio in the basement, and regular gigs of live music, theatre, comedy, and performance art, and you have a hurricane of change coming to East Hastings. The official launch will see a 3 day opening party on the weekend of Halloween.

Like I said, goosebumps…

I’ll be going into much more detail in a upcoming Vancouver magazine article on the current eastward gravitational pull of our restaurant scene, so that’s all for now.

All Anticipated Openings

The scout Community

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters Abigail’s Party Acorn Alibi Room Araxi Ask For Luigi Bambudda Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Beach House Bearfoot Bistro Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe Bel Café Bestie Beta5 Chocolates Biltmore Cabaret Bishop’s Bistro Pastis Bitter Tasting Room Bittered Sling Blacktail Florist Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar Bottleneck Bufala Burdock & Co. Butter On The Endive Cadeaux Bakery Café Medina Caffè Artigiano Campagnolo Campagnolo ROMA Cannibal Cafe Chambar Chewies Oyster Bar Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie  Chicha Chocolate Arts Cibo Trattoria Cinara CinCin Ristorante Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill Commune Cafe Cuchillo Culinary Capers Catering Curious Oyster Catering Co. District Brasserie Diva At The Met Doi Chaang Coffee Co. Earnest Ice Cream East Of Main Cafe Edible Canada El Matador Espana Exile Bistro Farm 2 Fork Fish Counter Forage Greenhorn Espresso Bar Hapa Izakaya Hart House Harvest Community Foods Hawksworth Restaurant Heirloom Vegetarian Homer Street Cafe & Bar Irish Heather Joy Road Catering Juice Truck Keefer Bar Krokodile Pear L’Abattoir La Buca La Mezcaleria La Pentola La Quercia La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop Lazy Gourmet Les Amis du Fromage Little District Local Philosophy Catering Lolita’s South Of The Border Cantina Los Cuervos Taqueria & Cantina Lukes General Store Lupo Restaurant Maenam Mamie Taylor’s MARKET by Jean-Georges Matchstick Coffee Roasters Meat & Bread Miku Restaurant Milano Coffee Minami Miradoro Mogiana Coffee Nicli Antica Pizzeria Notturno Nuba Oakwood Canadian Bistro Oyama Sausage Co. Oyster Seafood & Raw Bar Pallet Coffee Roasters Parker, The Pat’s Pub & BrewHouse Pidgin Pink Elephant Thai Pizza Fabrika Pizzeria Farina Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn Pourhouse Prado Cafe Railtown Cafe Rainier Provisions Re-Up BBQ Revolver Coffee Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Salt Tasting Room Salty Tongue Café Savoury Chef Settlement Building Shameful Tiki Room Shebeen Whisk(e)y House Shelter Sidecut | Four Seasons Whistler Siena Six Acres Spotted Bear Tableau Bar Bistro Tacofino Tapenade Bistro Tavola Terra Breads Thierry Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie Timbertrain Coffee Roasters Truffles Fine Foods Two Rivers Specialty Meats Urban Digs Farm Uva Wine Bar Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana West Restaurant Wildebeest Wolf In The Fog YEW seafood + bar

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .