DINER: An Update On The Construction Of Finch’s Market In The Heart Of Strathcona
by Andrew Morrison | I’ve been keenly watching the development of the highly anticipated Finch’s Market at Jackson and East Georgia in the heart of Strathcona, and not just because it’s around the corner from the Scout office. Since we first broke the news of its coming back in May, we’ve received a flood of messages, tweets, and comments asking all manner of questions, the most common of which have been when, when, and when again. Folks are stoked for this place, and for good reason. The original Finch’s on West Pender has something of a cult following as much for its cozy, timeless interior as for its simply constructed, super delicious and wholesome food. They do a baguette sandwich there with brie, prosciutto, balsamic and pears that…well, you probably know the sandwich already. It’s the stuff of legend, only it’s stuffed with legend.
As I noted in my original piece on the place, owner Jamie Smith pinned the opening date at some point in September (give or take interventions from the fickle restaurant gods). With September now almost upon us, I popped in yesterday to have a quick chat and a measure of the progress with Jamie. The place is looking pretty fantastic, so don’t let the above cell phone photo steer you into thinking otherwise. See that ceiling? It’s made up of 280 hand-placed, light aqua-coloured tiles. See all that sparkling white dry wall with the exposed ancient beams? It’s the same throughout the space; pristine yet aged. Notice all the natural light flowing in? Most of the windows are still boarded up, so imagine that shine multiplied by 6. Check the brick on the left, too. I’m pretty sure it’s the first time the location has seen its brick revealed in decades, and it appears to be pretty thrilled at showing itself off. What you don’t see is the prep kitchen behind the bar’s wall. It’s been sweetly kitted out courtesy of Craigslist, with only the fitting and dressing left to do.
All of this is to say that it’s still on track for September. Jamie – who has been doing nearly all the build work himself – is a man on a mission. I’d wager he won’t be unlocking the door before or around Labour Day, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find him welcoming his first customers in 30 or fewer days. And there will be much rejoicing.
For a closer look at the space (and to remember Jamie’s once clean overalls), take a look at some of our old photos from the start of construction after the jump…
Andrew Morrison lives and works in Vancouver as editor-in-chief of Scout, food columnist at the Westender, and National Referee & Judge at the Canadian Culinary Championships. He also contributes regularly to a wide range of publications, radio programs, and television shows on local food, culture and travel. In his spare time, he collects inexpensive things and enjoys rare birds, skateboards, cocktails, shoes, pasta, many songs and proper camp fires.