DINER: Industry Veterans Ed Perrow & Neil Taylor To Open “Espana” On Denman Street

by Andrew Morrison | Ed Perrow, the amiable fellow who ran operations at Bin 941 & 942 during their heyday (and was recently a front of house fixture at La Brasserie, Cibo, and Uva), has partnered up with Cibo’s highly regarded and soon-to-be-former chef Neil Taylor. Together, they are opening a new, Spanish-themed restaurant called “Espana” in the old Cosca space at 1118 Denman Street.

They’ve just signed the lease on the 1220 sqft space, and aim to be serving us plenty of Spanish wines, sherries, kalimoxto, pinxtos, tapas, and classic vernacular mains like paella come this September. Espana will be a mid-sizer, just 45 seats, so bigger than The Sardine Can and smaller than La Bodega. I trust it will be better than both. They’re on a budget for decor (anticipate simplicity), but who cares when the food program will follow Taylor’s much-loved style of local, sustainable, and organic ingredients expressed simply, creatively and – one safely presumes – deliciously? Not me. They could gussy it up in duct tape and balsa wood and I’d still go.

This is, of course, excellent news for Vancouver as a whole, but it’s especially a shot in the arm to sad old Denman, which has for years suffered an even worse mentionable restaurant drought than Commercial Drive. For the last two decades – with the exception of Raincity Grill, Kingyo, and a few ramen joints, the West End high street has been an embarrassing shit show of fast food and entry-level sugar shacks (I call it “Fatassenstrasse”). It needs something like this badly.

It’s also all kinds of awesome for Perrow and Taylor. I love it whenever any industry lifer makes the move to go independent, and truly, I can’t think of any two Vancouverites who are more ready to go out on their own than these guys. They both hit the ceiling a while back, and are primed to break through. So, with Wildebeest looking like it’ll be ready to go late next week (he types with crossed fingers), Espana moves to the top of Scout’s list of anticipated openings, like a freakin’ cherry.

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14 Responses to “DINER: Industry Veterans Ed Perrow & Neil Taylor To Open “Espana” On Denman Street”

  1. Sean Sherwood on July 20th, 2012 10:49 am

    About freaking time.

    Edward may cheat at poker, but he’s about the classiest guys I’ve worked with, going back 20 years. My only regret is that I don’t have bags of money to back these guys with, they’ll do very well. (mind you I’m sure I could win all that money back in a game of ‘guts’)

    Best of luck lads, get in touch if you need anything at all.

  2. Deborah S. on July 20th, 2012 11:55 am

    Sounds awesome, can’t wait! Please please please source out boquerones for Espana, no one is serving them in the city that I know of.

  3. Roberto B. on July 20th, 2012 2:48 pm

    Yes please boquerones! I have been dreaming of those since I left Spain last time.

  4. TO'G on July 20th, 2012 8:46 pm

    I’m more than thrilled about this news!!
    It’s a fantastic team, those two…HUGE RESPECT!
    With delicious anticipation, I hold my breath…!!

  5. Brian Thomlinson on July 21st, 2012 1:03 pm

    “Comida Buena ” ( good eating ) will certainly prevail with these two gentlemen partnered together !

  6. gards on July 22nd, 2012 12:23 am

    Great news. While we’ll miss Neil in the kitchen at Cibo, I can’t wait to try his take on Spanish.

  7. ronald sar on July 22nd, 2012 1:51 am

    Takes a lot for someone to call a restaurant (espana) and neither of them are from spain. have they even being on spain ???. do they know the difference between pinxos and tapas??? does the chef have any idea about spanish food coming from an italian restaurant ?? what about his partner. good luck

  8. Scout Magazine on July 22nd, 2012 12:19 pm

    Oh, Ronald.

  9. Chef T on July 22nd, 2012 1:42 pm

    Neil is an Englishman, which means he can do anything. You are now informed.

  10. spiceman on July 23rd, 2012 12:09 pm

    Hey Ronald, you should go tell Andrey Durbach your opinions on limitations to serving regional food, I’m sure he’d love to hear all about it.

  11. Sean Sherwood on July 25th, 2012 6:36 pm

    @ronald, I applaud your obsession with authenticity. That being said it’s hopelessly naive to believe that only a native Spaniard can do great Spanish cooking, and grossly elitist to assume anyone else shouldn’t try.

    Great chefs, and I’ve been lucky to work with a few of them, are never constrained to their region, and the best ones are constantly pushing their skills, talents, and repetoire.

    There are three types of restaurant industry opinions, those hoping you succeed, those hoping your fail, and those who actually know what their talking about. I know Ed and Neil to be in the latter category, I’ll refrain from assuming which one you fall into.

  12. Rob on July 27th, 2012 11:23 am

    I can’t wait; there is a lack of authentic Spanish food here in Vancouver. I hope their list will carry some wines from Ribera de Duero. Good luck guys!

  13. Anne on July 27th, 2012 4:00 pm

    Great news! I can’t wait.

  14. MARI on September 21st, 2012 3:24 pm

    Yes please get the boquerones from Spain!!! Vancouver needs some good spanish restaurant there is none!!!!

    FYI : the iberico ham, lomo and chorizo the right spelling is de BELLOTA no de bellato!!!!