Sadly, Steve Da Cruz Has Closed The Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe

January 4, 2011.


I got a call an hour ago from Steve da Cruz, the owner of Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe, saying that he’d closed the restaurant for good, which is pretty sad news (not just because I recommend it on TV today). The Corner Suite was one of my and many others’ favourite restaurants to open this year, so…bummer. 850 Thurlow was a hard location (formerly Piccolo Mondo and Saveur), but I thought Steve had it licked.

In the paper this week I wrote that 2011 would probably see a lot of closures, but I didn’t expect they’d include one as good as this, especially since it had yet to see its first birthday. Makes me wonder who will drop next…

Best of luck to Steve and his staff in their future endeavours.

  • Greedy Guts

    This is disappointing. I’d been hoping to get there are some point but the right time just never came. Looks like I missed my chance. I am hoping that you are wrong about your prediction of closures for 2011 but it looks like you could be right…

  • Mk

    I’m not surprised. Went four times. Twice with in months of opening, once in the fall and just before Christmas. Food was decent though took forever to receive your meal and the service was horrible every time. Staff was disorganized and had trouble providing the basics. It’s a shame with Steve’s talent and reputation that the rest of the team could not pull it together. I also feel that location would do best as a neighbourhood lounge/pub/sports bar.

  • Erin

    Does anyone know what will come of the Groupons they sold that have yet to be redeemed?

  • Shaver

    They did Groupon? Holy fuck that’s desperate – a sure sign they were on the ropes.

  • Laura Winston

    I had dinner there with friends just before Christmas and we were all blown away. Such a good feel in there! Very sad.

  • Gabe


  • Mad Maxwell

    That sucks. Chin up Steve and Jason.

  • Chris Bjerrisgaard

    Sad stuff,

    They had some issues in the start, but I felt they purged most of them in recent months. It appears it was a little too late.

  • she_who_ate

    This is really disappointing, I was hoping they’d do well. This was by far one of my favourite restaurants in the area.

    PS – Shaver, really? There are a lot of businesses who are doing well that have done Groupon, including Benton’s Cheese. It’s not a sign of desperation. Jesus.

  • markus

    I can understand why this place was so popular as a bar: loud raucous atmosphere, charming bar staff, extensive drink list, etc. But let’s be real – it wasn’t the best restaurant experience. Sure, food was always excellent, but service *always* left a lot to be desired and the room was simply too loud to have any decent amount of conversation in. I’d often go and have a few drinks at the bar later in the evening, but after three poor dining experiences, I never went back for a proper meal. I imagine there were others who felt similarly and that didn’t help the bottom line. C’est la vie in Vancouver.

  • Kari C

    It’s sad to see the restaurant close. If you don’t know the exact reason why it closed, it’s probably best not to spread rumors.

  • SL

    Wow truly shitty, Steve is a stand up guy, props to him for sticking it out, from a fellow barman cheers, I know you’ll land on your feet Steve

  • Kevin

    I’m gonna miss em mussels in bacon brother.. time to try and make my own :(

  • JE

    Refuel and C have done Groupons — doesn’t seem like they’re struggling.

    That was a good read in the paper Andrew. 10000% agree with the idea of focus. Seems particularly true in Vancouver, as it feels like a lot of new places are focusing on broad cuisine & pricepoint vs singular items. It’s why I think Bao Bei will live forever and why I’m optimistic about Peckinpah. Fewer things, better.

  • Geoffro

    Tough location. Destination joints will always have a harder time than spots in a lively neighbourhood. Head east and try again?

  • Tanie

    I’m so disappointed, I was LITERALLY just telling my friend that I planned to go there to celebrate my anniversary this year when I got an email that they’d closed!

  • Vincent

    It’s always unfortunate to see another Vancouver owned restaurant close it’s doors.

    2011 will be a tough one for many in the food industry, I just hope that the powers that be take notice, and think twice before introducing industry changing obstacles.

    We need change, respect, and commitment from city and government.

  • Scout Magazine

    You won’t get it.

  • Robert

    Sorry to see them close … I had a Groupon to use yet, and contacted Groupon via their toll free # on website – they gave me a refund no prob.

  • Rich

    So sorry to hear that, I loved going there in the late evening for fantastic cheese and wine. The truffle tremor will always be close to my heart, thanks for the introduction!

    Anyways, I’ve seen my share of bad luck and disspapoitmemts. We are intrepid. The best to you Steve (and Jason) , why not come to Galiano for a couple comp nights and help put together a small cocktail list for us. One that kicks ass like you do my friend. See you soon.

  • lori

    why do people feel like kicking someone when they are already down? every restaurant in the city will have bad service, mix ups etc at one point=new staff, short staffed etc whatever.

    They toughed it out and opened against all odds, they made improvements each visit, and Steve was there 7 days a week … I had one of the best steaks in the city there.

    It was a tough location but they did not give up. Look at the landlords in the city … constanlty upping the rents once their tenants get busy … them and the HST will kill more restaurants this year … YOU CAN BET ON IT!

    PS – groupon people … you probably wouldn’t go to any place without it so we regulars dont care if you get refunds … if you had any class you wouldn’t be worried about a few bucks or contact groupon directly … rather than complain online or contact the Steve when he just closed his restaurant.

  • Boy C

    After reading the article where they discussed their finances in Vanmag, I’m not surprised that it closed. They set extremely unrealistic goals even if they were to open and operate as scheduled. I hope this doesn’t discourage them to learn from this and try again someday.

  • leigh

    You don’t have to be a celebrity restaurateur to have my respect. For an independent to get into this god-forsaken game, their money and sweat equity has the same value. I admire anyone who has the balls to stomach it, rather than sit on the side lines and wonder when the turquoise chairs will go up for sale. I hope Sweeney’s, Presto Panini, Fiasco, Rossini’s, Carv, and Corner Suite (and any other 2010 casualties) owners and staff find their footing quickly and don’t lose their love for the business and everything that goes with it. xo

  • Art

    I never went, partially because I hadn’t heard anything really good about it, but also seemed so out of the way. Yeah I know it was only a block south of Robson, but it still seemed like it-was-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-far-away…. It’s a completely different world on the north side.

  • David J. Cooper

    I agree with everything lori said. Nobody cares about your Grpupons. People need to support the restarants they love. Not with Groupons or Dine Out menus, but with their regular business.

  • REZ

    I don’t see anyone “complaining” about their Groupons, and by buying the Groupon they are supporting the restaurant.

    Too bad about the closure…it’s a tough spot.
    Best of luck!

  • pablopicante

    @ lori
    @ david j. cooper

    re: groupon elitism

    while i agree that we should all regularly support the local restaurants that we love, i see no harm whatsoever in people taking advantage of a given deal offered by those restaurants – groupon or otherwise. clearly the proprietors will still be making some semblance of profit or they wouldn’t put forth the offer.

    you call these people classless for wanting to save some cash in a deflated economy. have you considered that not everyone walks home after their service shift with a couple hundred tax-free dollars every night?

    please dismount your respective gilded high-horses.

  • David J. Cooper

    Rez. You miss my point. Restaurants need to be supported by our regular business. Groupons, cuopons, Entertainment books and Dine Out Vancouver customers don’t pay the bills. Cash business does.

    I didn’t have a chance to eat here because I loyally support a few other places in the area. I’m sorry I didn’t. This seemed like a place that tried to do something different and real.

    It is a tough location and the city didn’t help. At least that’s what I have heard. Good luck to the people who lost their savings and to those who lost their jobs.

  • Kurtis

    Dine Out Vancouver customers don’t pay the bills? Where does that come from? As long as food, liquor and staff cost percentages are maintained, why wouldn’t they? There’s nothing saying you have to take a bath on the promotion.

    Every place I’ve run during DOV totally smashed sales records during the two-week period, as it’s very effective at getting bums in seats in an otherwise slow time of year, which is why it exists in the first place. For a place like Salt Tasting Room, successful anyways, we’d do an easy 200 covers of the $28 menu in our 100 seat venue on a rainy Monday night, which translates to over $5.5K in food alone, before one drop of wine was poured. Throw in a minimum of one wine flight per person at $15 a pop and you’re tacking another $3K onto those sales. This is not including another glass of wine or meal add-on that at least half of our guests would elect to order.

    Do you really think that sales beyond $10 000 on a rainy January Monday night doesn’t pay some bills (and staff)? Why do you think restaurants that are already packed, Salt, Chambar, Coast, etc, elect to partake in the promotion then?

    The same argument could be made for Groupon, etc.

    Cynicism is easy, just don’t assume that a quick opinion equals fact.

  • Jill

    I hope this doesn’t come off as cold-hearted, but… What is to happen with those amazing teal chairs?! I want to buy some. Any idea if the owners will be putting these up for sale? I know at least two other interested buyers.

  • Kari C

    Thanks to everyone who also feels it’s wrong to kick people when they’re down, and wished the staff luck…

    Whether it’s Groupon, Dine Out, or any other event, as long as it gets you to like a business and maybe want to come back, great. The businesses take a way lower profit margin on things like that, but it’s effective at securing guests and hopefully bringing repeat customers. I have found some nice places through Groupon and Livingsocial that would not have received my dollars otherwise, and hope to visit them again.

  • David J. Cooper

    Well then Kurtis if it’s such a great thing why not do it all year round? Three courses for 28 bucks every night.

  • Kurtis

    …because it would totally dilute the demand and the effectiveness of the promotion. Same reason Groupon and others are so successful, limited time offer and such. That, of course, is totally beside my point that these opportunities are financially viable and pay the bills as I quite thoroughly illustrated above. You wouldn’t have over 200 restaurants, some of the busiest and best in the city, taking part if it were a money-losing venture.

  • David J. Cooper

    Kurtis. Well promoted. The places you work for seem to be very successful and you took the opportunity to tell us all about it. From the sounds of it other places don’t seem quite as lucky. I’m not sure your vision through rose coloured glasses really helps the discussion.

    I find it hard to believe that dedicated chefs and owners put their life savings into businesses that they hope will survive on special offer menus and 2 for 1 offers. DOV certainly is a huge thing but if it brings in one visit only business then I doubt it could be a long tern success for the participants.

  • Kurtis

    Oh, I don’t recall saying that chefs and owners pour their life savings into businesses that they hope will survive on special offer menus. And I don’t think “rose coloured glasses” can obscure basic math that I provided,

    You say my vision through those glasses doesn’t help the discussion, but it was a response to your false statement that promotions do not pay bills, I don’t think false statements like that help the discussion either. You can spin my words and intention all you like, but I was simply clearing up a misconception on that singular issue. I even put numbers to it, so you couldn’t accuse me of false optimism, but to no avail.

    And, hey, I’ve worked for unsuccessful places, too. And many successful ones that have gone through hard times. I’m just saying that DOV was one of those times when you COULD count on bills being paid. And it’s also a misconception that those people never come back at other times of the year. Tourism Vancouver’s post-DOV surveys suggest otherwise.

    Back to the issue at hand. I feel for Steve and his staff, I really do. I developed the wine program for Corner Suite, and did that for free out of support for his new venture and because he and his crew are friends. I also enjoyed going there as a patron. It sucks for all involved, but I’m sure they will all land on their feet. Their talent and passion shall prevail.

  • David J. Cooper

    Well said

  • Aaron

    The place looks great in photos… never ate there… whoever decorated is definitely talented… I too would be interested in buying the furniture! Does anyone know who I can speak to directly?

  • BJS

    I’ve been a part of restaurant openings and most people wouldn’t believe the sacrifices and risks one has to make in order to open a new restaurant in Vancouver. Criticizing the restaurant upon hearing this news is like bad mouthing the deceased at a funeral. Show the due respect to the people that devote their lives to providing food, culture and life to this city. People like Steve do it because its their passion and kudos to him for giving it his best shot.
    My Respect and Condolences, b

  • Kari C

    @BJS and anybody else who stands up for restaurants that are fighting for a chance: Thank you.

  • Vincent

    I don’t work in a restaurant directly but I’ve seen a few restaurants go. It’s sad to see all these restaurants go, especially ones that people like.

    I was walking on my way back home and saw that Corner had shut down, but the fact that people were writing nice comments to Steve on his door is a nice gesture.

    I was really hoping that our loyalty program would have been able to help him increase more customers to his store, but I guess it was too late.

    I hope that this isn’t going to be a trend for the new year.

  • David J. Cooper

    I agree that complaints about the restaurant are very petty and kick sand in the face of the people who worked so hard trying to make this place work. I also think posting about how successful the places you work at, is equally as insulting. It seems to be a trend in the bar business to promote your place no matter what the forum or who the audience is.

    I am very dissappointed that I didn’t get the chance to support this place.

  • Jeff Curry

    Steve Da Cruz was the hardest working motherfucker I saw in the business in 2010. Respect.

  • Lisa

    Shocking and sad news for sure. Corner Suite was one of my favorite restaurants by far.

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