DINER: West Pender’s Much-Loved Finch’s Opening A New Market Cafe In Strathcona

May 24, 2012.

by Andrew Morrison | Finch’s Tea & Coffee House, the legendary lunch spot at 353 West Pender, is opening up a second location called Finch’s Market this September. The new cafe and market is currently under construction at 501 East Georgia in the heart of Strathcona. It’s worth getting into a tizzy over because owners Jamie Smith and Sheryl Matthews have only ever dealt in awesomeness at the original Finch’s, and the market aspect of the new location gives them an opportunity to shine in a different way. In addition to the soups, sandwiches, coffees and teas that we’ve come to know and love in the last 8 years (yes, we can expect the same blue-brie, pear, and prosciutto baguettes), we can anticipate lots of organic produce and artisan foods on the shelves (ie. a nice daily market), plus house made ice creams, popsicles and more. The property was until very recently a tiny grocery called U-Go-To Store, and it was one of those sketchy places where once could fairly question the provenance of the stock (even the candy bars were stale). About a month ago, the tenant, who had converted the rear of the shop into a 3 bedroom apartment, just up and moved back to China. When I met Jamie at the space today, all the dividing walls had been knocked down to reveal what was really a 1000+ sqft. space with old brick walls and original beams (these had previously been boarded up). The actual physical position of the building means that once the windows, too, are sorted out, light will spill in like mad. Suffice it to say, if you’ve ever been to Finch’s, you know the end result is going to be a cozy den of withering charm. It’s literally a block from the Scout office, so we’re stoked that something of quality is on its way in. I’m going to have a hell of a lot more detail on the upcoming place in my next WE column, so look out for the paper next Thursday. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures…

  • Finch's Market while it was under construction at 501 East Georgia in Strathcona
  • The lunch rush at the original Finch's
  • Interior of Finch's while U-Go-2 Store was being gutted
  • Jamie Smith, the owner of Finch's Market, in the midst of construction in the summer of 2012
  • Finch's famed baguette sandwich with pear, blue brie, walnuts, proscuitto sandwich at the original Finch's
  • The exterior of U-Go-2 Store before the Finch's transformation
  • The exterior of U-Go-2 Store before the Finch's transformation
  • U-Go-2 Store false walls removed
  • Old windows revealed (previously behind a false wall)
  • Gutting and cleaning in the wake of U-Go-2 Store
  • Original support beams revealed during Finch's construction
  • Lunch rush at the original Finch's
  • Entrance to the kitchen of the future Finch's
  • Sidewalk level frosted window detail
  • Finch's Market | 501 East Georgia in Strathcona
  • Detritus collection | Finch's Market | 501 East Georgia in Strathcona
  • Finch's Market
  • Framed menus at the original Finch's
  • Jamie Smith, the action man | Finch's Market | 501 East Georgia in Strathcona
  • Looking west to the new Finch's on East Georgia St.
  • Ghost sign on the side of the building | 501 East Georgia in Strathcona
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