by Andrew Morrison | The long awaited Finch’s Market finally opened today at 501 East Georgia in the heart of Strathcona. As you can see from the photos, owners Jamie Smith and Sheryl Matthews have done a great job in transforming the space, which used to be the U-Go-To corner store (closed last Spring). It’s cozy in an English-Rockwellian sort of way. All the new natural light is a very welcome change (U-Go-To had fluorescent lights and all the windows boarded up). Even on a cloudy day like today it’s the light that strikes. With all the false walls down and the original brick and beam shell restored, it comes pouring in like it never did before. Smith and Matthews have decorated the entirety with comfort in mind. Everywhere is wood, wood, wood, with the only visible thing not predating our births being an Interac machine (the front door even has one of those old school Mr. Gower the Druggist bells that rings whenever it’s opened and closed). It’s actually pretty staggering how convincingly they’ve made it look and feel like an institution, a neighbourhood hub that hasn’t changed in decades.
My first sandwich – Finch’s classic prosciutto, pear, brie, walnut and balsamic on baguette sandwiches – was just as good as at the many ones I’ve had at the original Finch’s on West Pender. A twin, really. Indeed, fans of the first Finch’s will find and appreciate the espressos and the sandwiches that they’ve become so well known for. This new one, though – Finch’s Market – has organic milk, fresh produce and shelves stocked with all manner of edibles, which makes it more of a victualling station for the neighbourhood. For now, they’re open from 10am until 5pm, and they might even do a proper Sunday brunch (minus the mimosas) once they’re settled. In all, a very welcome addition to Strathcona. Long may it run.
Click ahead to see photos of Finch’s Market while it was under construction…
Andrew Morrison lives and works in Vancouver as editor-in-chief of Scout and National Referee & Judge at the Gold Medal Plates and Canadian Culinary Championships. He also contributes regularly to a wide range of publications, radio programs, and television shows on local food, culture and travel; collects inexpensive things; and enjoys rare birds, skateboards, cocktails, shoes, good pastas, many songs, and the smell of camp fires.