DINER: Pape & Iranzad Pick Up Ex-West Chef David Gunawan For New “Wildebeest”

November 21, 2011.

by Andrew Morrison | Early last month we revealed that restaurateurs James Iranzad (Cartel, Abigail’s Party) and Josh Pape (The Diamond) had secured 120 West Hastings with plans for a new joint arriving in 2012. There was no name or chef at that point (they’d only just signed the lease), so the news was “info-light”. In this week’s copy of the Westender, I have written a piece on the place, revealing a whole bunch of details, including a glance askance at the first menu and cocktail list drafts (mmm, bacon bitters). The paper doesn’t come out until Wednesday, so until then, here are the Cliff notes…

First off, the name is Wildebeest, which I really dig. It comes from the Afrikaans term for “Wild Cattle”, which is what the 17th century settlers to the Cape Of Good Hope called the ugly-looking creatures loping around the back veld. Assume it means Wild Beast (a clean Dutch translation), which is cooler. But I digress. The chef is none other than David Gunawan, who left his executive role at South Granville’s West last year to toil at Belgium’s Michelin-starred In De Wulf. Yup, he’s coming home. They’ve also picked up the sommelier services of Lindsay Ferguson, formerly of Salt Tasting Room (also a co-owner of the Re-Up food truck), not to mention the branding talents of Glasfurd & Walker (see L’Abattoir, Bao Bei, Scout Magazine). They have also confirmed that the basement will see a 40 seat wine lounge, complete with 12 bottle oenomatic machine (stoked). For more, check out the article coming out on Wednesday (I’ll link to it here the moment it goes online). If you need a reminder of the concept, read our earlier notes:

The 100 block of Hastings is on the edge of the DTES proper. It’s been cleaned up a lot in the last year or so, with the scaffolding of renovated buildings having recently being peeled away and SFU Contemporary Arts’ toned and modern buttocks now poking out onto a sizeable stretch of its northern sidewalk. The spot is the main floor of a south side “Heritage B” building just west of Nuba, Meat & Bread, La Taqueria, and Revolver. Newcomers Acme Cafe and Save On Meats are on the next block east (Sean Heather’s Bitter should open there later this month, too). It’s a pretty perfect address, and I trust they got it for a relative song seeing as the block isn’t quite ready – but is nevertheless destined – for prime time. My read is that they couldn’t have chosen any wiser, and that 115 seats won’t be too tricky to fill. After having the rough food concept explained to me, I imagine the kitchen will dish the kind of gutturally expressed but nevertheless refined comfort food that would appeal to carnivorous chefs on their nights off. Think chops, steaks, whole fish, off-cuts, small plates and so on. Think Andrey Durbach, Heidi Noble and Eleanor Chow sitting next to Adam Pegg, Lucais Syme, and Nico Schuermans at the bar drinking proper drinks and being very glad that someone else is doing the cooking. Think Toronto’s Black Hoof and LA’s Animal expressed in Vancouver’s uniquely awesome vernacular (one still hopes for tongue on brioche and BBQ pork belly sandwiches). As for look and feel, I picture a totally feasible set of seeming contradictions: casual but exacting; unpretentious but expert; composed but boisterous; communal but intimate. These guys are two of our best young pros, and they’ll likely attract a top drawer set of staffers, despite the informal set up. The early sketches I’ve seen depict a bar height banquette backing up to the brick and running the length of the wall to create a narrow service corridor between the facing high chairs and the deeply set, 12 seat bar (overseen by Pape, naturally). An open kitchen follows the line of the bar and leads to a proper chef’s table at the rear. It’s a basic composition, but it will lend itself to the desired communal feel of the concept. Back at the front right, the plans call for a short staircase being cut into the floor that will lead down to a 500 sqft, low-ceilinged area with potential for 20 seat private dining. That’s all well and good, but this downstairs space is too cool for exclusivity (reminiscent of a miniaturised Calabash basement). A lot of potential. I’m hoping it morphs into a wine lounge with snacks on unbooked nights.

  • IMG_0341
  • IMG_0315
  • IMG_0312
  • IMG_0300
  • IMG_0296
  • IMG_0293
  • IMG_0299
  • IMG_0311
  • IMG_0309
  • IMG_0301
  • IMG_0308
  • IMG_0291
  • IMG_0287
  • IMG_0345

ALL ANTICIPATED RESTAURANTS

#ScoutThis

There are 11 comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Diner Delicious restaurant intel...

DINER | Rain-Craving Noodles? Scout Readers Rank The 11 Best Ramen Houses In Vancouver

DINER | Rain-Craving Noodles? Scout Readers Rank The 11 Best Ramen Houses In Vancouver

by Andrew Morrison | I don't want to date this list, but at the time of writing my wife is away in Japan and here in Strathcona it's pouring with rain in the… more 

HEADS UP | Family Matters’ Mark Singson To Chef Next ‘Greasy Spoon’ Dinner — Jan. 23rd

HEADS UP | Family Matters’ Mark Singson To Chef Next ‘Greasy Spoon’ Dinner — Jan. 23rd

Chef Mark Singson, founder of the collaborative Family Matters pop-up dinner series (and former Annalena sous chef), is on deck to cook the next Greasy… more 

DINER | Nook Team Lands ‘Smoking Dog’ Spot In Kits, Planning For Veg-Forward Italian Joint

DINER | Nook Team Lands ‘Smoking Dog’ Spot In Kits, Planning For Veg-Forward Italian Joint

by Andrew Morrison | As if the folks at Nook and Tavola weren't busy enough, they've now got two new restaurants on the way. The third location of Nook is… more 

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On The Closing Of Books To Cooks And Making Dinner For Trump

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On The Closing Of Books To Cooks And Making Dinner For Trump

by Talia Kleinplatz | Excerpts from a recently published book on Canada’s culinary identity detail some concerning information on the effects of climate… more 

VANCOUVER WOULD BE COOLER IF #282 | Restaurant Staff Were Celebrated On Menus

VANCOUVER WOULD BE COOLER IF #282 | Restaurant Staff Were Celebrated On Menus

The point of VWBCI is to open local minds to outside practices, concepts, and ideas that might stand to improve our greater civic situation in a parallel… more 

SEEN IN VANCOUVER #584 | ‘Joe Pizza’ Opens Softly At Carrall & Cordova In Gastown

SEEN IN VANCOUVER #584 | ‘Joe Pizza’ Opens Softly At Carrall & Cordova In Gastown

by Andrew Morrison | I'd been really looking forward to trying the square, thick-crusted 'al taglio' style creations at Joe Pizza so when they opened for a… more 

DINER | Ask For Luigi To Host Jan. 23 Pop-Up To Introduce Upcoming ‘St. Lawrence’ Eatery

DINER | Ask For Luigi To Host Jan. 23 Pop-Up To Introduce Upcoming ‘St. Lawrence’ Eatery

by Andrew Morrison | St. Lawrence hasn't even opened yet but it sure does attract a lot of buzz. The upcoming, Quebec-inspired restaurant - from the same folks… more 

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Sipping Cock Ale & Waiting For The Restaurant Bubble To Burst

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Sipping Cock Ale & Waiting For The Restaurant Bubble To Burst

by Talia Kleinplatz | The combination of a flooded restaurant market and a shortage of hospitality staff has some arguing that we are in the age of a… more 

The scout Community

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters & Lucky’s Doughnuts Acorn Agrius Alibi Room Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio AnnaLena Araxi Arbor Ask For Luigi Au Comptoir Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Bar Oso Bauhaus Beach Bay Café & Patio Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe Bel Café Bestie Bishop’s Bistro Pastis Bistro Wagon Rouge Bittered Sling Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar Bottleneck Bufala Burdock & Co. Cabrito Cacao Cadeaux Bakery Café Medina Caffè Artigiano Camp Lifestyle + Coffee Co. Campagnolo Campagnolo ROMA Cartems Donuterie Chambar Chefs’ Table Society of BC Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie  Chicha Chill Winston ChocolaTas Chocolate Arts Cibo Trattoria Cinara CinCin Ristorante + Bar Cioffi’s Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill Cocktails & Canapes Catering + Events Cook Culture Culinary Capers Catering & Special Events Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen District Brasserie Dixie’s Authentic Texas BBQ Earnest Ice Cream Edible Canada Elementa Espana Exile Bistro Fable Fanny Bay Farmer’s Apprentice Fat Badger Fat Mao Fernwood Coffee Company Field & Social Forage Giovane Cafe + Eatery Gotham Steakhouse & Bar Grain Granville Island Grapes & Soda Greenhorn Espresso Bar Gyoza Bar Harkness & Co. Harvest Community Foods Hawksworth Restaurant Heirloom Heritage Asian Eatery Homer Street Cafe & Bar Hy’s Steakhouse Irish Heather Jamjar JJ Bean Joy Road Catering Juice Truck Juke Fried Chicken Juniper Keefer Bar Kin Kao Kissa Tanto Knifewear Kozakura Kuma Tofino L’Abattoir La Buca La Mezcaleria La Pentola La Quercia La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop Latab Wine Bar Les Amis du Fromage Lions Pub, The Liquidity Bistro Little District Lobby Lounge + RawBar Longtail Kitchen Made By Pacific Maenam Mamie Taylor’s MARKET by Jean-Georges Matchstick Coffee Roasters Meat & Bread Meinhardt Fine Foods Miku Restaurant Milano Coffee Minami Miradoro Mission Mister Mogiana Coffee Mosquito Nero Belgian Waffle Bar Nicli Antica Pizzeria Nightingale Nomad Nook Nuba Oakwood Canadian Bistro OLO OPUS Bar Osteria Savio Volpe Oyama Sausage Co. Pallet Coffee Roasters Pat’s Pub & BrewHouse Phoenix Perennials Pidgin Pied-à-Terre Pizzeria Farina Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn, The Pourhouse Railtown Cafe Railtown Catering Rain Or Shine Ice Cream Red Wagon, The Revolver Coffee Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Royal Dinette Sai Woo Salt Tasting Room Salty Tongue Café Savoury Chef Shaughnessy Restaurant Shebeen Whisk(e)y House Shelter Shika Provisions Siena Six Acres Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe Sorella Stable House, The Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall Tableau Bar Bistro Tacofino Tavola Terra Breads Thierry Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie Timber Timbertrain Coffee Roasters Torafuku Tractor Foods Truffles Fine Foods Two Rivers Specialty Meats UBC Farm Uncommon Cafe, The Urban Digs Farm Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise™ Program Vij’s Restaurant Virtuous Pie West Restaurant Wildebeest Wolf In The Fog YEW seafood

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 .