DINER: Durbach & Stewart To Open Spanish Tapas Bar “The Sardine Can” In Gastown

March 1, 2012.

by Andrew Morrison | This afternoon, Chris Stewart and Andrey Durbach – of Cafeteria, La Buca and Pied-A-Terre fame – secured a location in Gastown for their next restaurant, which will be called The Sardine Can. It’s an apt name, as the space at 26 Powell St. is as tight as they come for a 20 seater – only 500sqft.

The concept sounds like a proper Spanish tapas bar; the hole in the wall kind that Vancouver’s most hopeful food lovers have long been waiting for. Durbach and Stewart want to make it the most casual and accessible restaurant in their stable. That means no molecular gastronomy, no El Bullish artistry, no high falutin’ anything. Instead, Durbach (interview) tells us that we can expect some 12 raciones (small plates) alongside Spanish wines served in tumblers, a decent selection of sherries and Spanish beers, as well as a couple of Cavas.

There wil be 10 seats at the bar (which will double as a kitchen), plus three tables that can be configured to fit groups both small (4) and large (10). As befitting the casual, no nonsense intent of the concept, they will only be serving walk-ins. They’re also toying with the idea of opening as early as 3pm, which is pretty damn awesome, as Gastown is pretty dry before 5:30pm. Expect midnight as their nightly close, perhaps later on weekends.

Sounds pretty perfect, no? Vancouver’s long established small plate restaurants – while taking themselves a little seriously – can sometimes be unfocused on the plate. It’s not uncommon to see them descending pointlessly into the lazy yawnlands of “Asian fusion”. Don’t get me wrong – much of it can be very tasty, and creativity for creativity’s sake is fantastic – but let’s not forget the singular magnificence of a slice of simple sausage next to a sleeve of cold beer. That’ll be especially welcome in an environment that has more in common with Gyoza King or Kintaro than Bin 941 or places with a European context, like Le Crocodile.

As I mentioned above, they’ve only just taken possession this afternoon. They’re going to need to do a complete kitchen refit and full body strip before building it up The Sardine Can. The location has seen the failure of countless restaurants in the last couple of decades. It’s been a real turn-and-burn meat grinder, spitting out every concept one can imagine, from Palestinian to Indian. In any event, I’m crossing my fingers for a Spring opening.

I’ll be expanding on the coming of The Sardine Can in my next WE column, which hits the streets on Wednesday. In the meantime, we’ve added it to our select list of restaurant projects that will very likely be awesome.

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

#ScoutThis

There are 4 comments

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

Diner Delicious restaurant intel...

DINER | Chinatown’s Highly Anticipated ‘Juke’ Fried Chicken Joint Set For Thursday Launch

DINER | Chinatown’s Highly Anticipated ‘Juke’ Fried Chicken Joint Set For Thursday Launch

by Andrew Morrison | One of the restaurants I've really been looking forward to on our anticipated openings list is Juke in Chinatown. This is, of course,… more 

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Lost Menus, High Rents & The Local Surge In Quality Ice Cream

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Lost Menus, High Rents & The Local Surge In Quality Ice Cream

by Talia Kleinplatz | In the Vancouver Sun, Mia Stainsby falls for the delicious pizzas and pastas coming out of the second floor kitchen at Nightingale. If… more 

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On No Soup For The Donald And Unsustainable No-Tipping Models

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On No Soup For The Donald And Unsustainable No-Tipping Models

by Talia Kleinplatz | Donald Trump is set to officially be named the Republican Nominee this week, but it’s good to see that so many restaurants continue to… more 

DINER | Talented Chef Duo To Open ‘Mak N Ming’ In Kitsilano Before The End Of Summer

DINER | Talented Chef Duo To Open ‘Mak N Ming’ In Kitsilano Before The End Of Summer

by Andrew Morrison | Chefs Makoto Ono and Amanda Cheng are opening a new restaurant together in the old Thai Star location at 1629 Yew Street in Kitsilano. The… more 

DINER | 36 Seat ‘Lucky Taco’ Opens Softly In Kitsilano, Replacing ‘Supermarine’ On Yew St.

DINER | 36 Seat ‘Lucky Taco’ Opens Softly In Kitsilano, Replacing ‘Supermarine’ On Yew St.

by Andrew Morrison | Lucky Taco held it's first friends and family service on Tuesday night. The new 36 seat restaurant from James Iranzad and Josh Pape of… more 

OPENING SOON | Sneak Peek Inside The New 38 Seat Location Of Tacofino On Mainland St.

OPENING SOON | Sneak Peek Inside The New 38 Seat Location Of Tacofino On Mainland St.

by Andrew Morrison | Just before the weekend I took a look inside the new Yaletown location of Tacofino with owners Jason Sussman and Kaeli Robinson (and… more 

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Top Marks For Kissa Tanto And Finding Peace in The Kitchen

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Top Marks For Kissa Tanto And Finding Peace in The Kitchen

by Talia Kleinplatz | Eater rounds up the best ice cream from coast to coast, inexplicably leaving out Vancouver. Still, Montreal’s Kem Coba rocks an amazing… more 

DINER | Chef Trevor Bird’s New, 86 Seat ‘Fable Diner’ Launches Quietly At Main & Broadway

DINER | Chef Trevor Bird’s New, 86 Seat ‘Fable Diner’ Launches Quietly At Main & Broadway

by Andrew Morrison | Chef Trevor Bird has softly opened his long anticipated, 86 seat Fable Diner at the foot of the 104 year old Lee Building at Main and… more 

The scout Community

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters & Lucky’s Doughnuts Acorn Alibi Room Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio AnnaLena Araxi 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. 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 Earnest Ice Cream Edible Canada Elementa Espana Exile Bistro Fable Fanny Bay Farmer’s Apprentice Fat Badger Fat Mao 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 Homer Street Cafe & Bar Hy’s Steakhouse Irish Heather Jamjar JJ Bean Joy Road Catering Juice Truck Juniper Keefer Bar Kin Kao 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 Lolita’s South Of The Border Cantina Longtail Kitchen 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 Nicli Antica Pizzeria Nightingale Nomad Nook Nuba Oakwood Canadian Bistro OLO OPUS Bar Oru 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 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 Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana 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 .