DINER: Habit & Cascade Folks To Open New Southeast Asian Restaurant, “The Union”
by Andrew Morrison | I made mention of The Union in an “opening soon” piece for the paper many, many months ago (285 days ago to be exact), but work on it was delayed due to the typical snafus associated with brand new buildings. The restaurant, due this December (fingers crossed), is located at 219 Union St. at the foot of the new V6A building where Strathcona connects with Main St. on Union St. at the southern reach of Chinatown (next to the Jimi Hendrix shrine). The crew behind it are the same folks that brought us Habit Lounge and The Cascade further up Main, namely Nick Devine, Wendy Nicolay, Nigel Pike, David Nicolay and Rob Edmonds.
The info I had back then was sketchy, but now they’re ready to share details as work renews in earnest. The Union is some 2,000 sqft of virgin concrete and glass fronted by two 8×8 window frames that will roll open like the frontage at The Cascade. There will be some 84 seats, give or take, with 12 of these arranged at cozy bar tended by able Cascade hand Arthur Wynne. Much of the space will be wrapped in wood and mounted with art installations, and though I’ve yet to see renderings, I imagine the final look will be rather modern (two of the owners, Rob Edmonds and David Nicolay, make up the team at Evoke, the local design house that has delivered unto Vancouver such rooms as Commune Cafe, Electric Owl, the new Irish Heather, Sanafir, and a great many others, including Habit and The Cascade).
The food concept is an eclectic mix of Southeast Asian, so we anticipate lots of rice and noodle dishes, curries, and a range of street food-inspired small plates (mmm, satays). Doing the cooking will be Lisa Henderson, chef/co-owner of the pan-American-themed Latitude (also on Main, and also designed by Evoke). You might recall that Henderson was once upon a time the chef/co-owner of Tofino’s well-reviewed Raincoast Café, which specialised in Southeast Asian fare (most notably in Thai exoticism). The Union’s food fits right in her wheelhouse, and given the proximity of Chinatown’s produce markets, I’m sure she’s as stoked as we are.
UPDATE: New Shots on the verge of opening…