DINER: New Eatery “Tuc Craft Kitchen” Opening This Spring At 60 West Cordova St.

January 31, 2013.

by Andrew Morrison | The new building at 60 West Cordova (off Abbott) in Gastown is going to see a 90 seat eatery called Tuc Craft Kitchen open on its ground floor at some point this Spring (if the planets align and all goes according to plan, it could be up and running as soon as late March).

It’s the second project from restaurateurs Colin Ross and James MacFarlane, who together own the Milestones location at Cambie and 8th. Joining them is chef Roy Flemming, a local hotel veteran (Radisson, Wall Center) who came out west via several restaurants in Montreal (Le Marais, Le Vieux Pecheur).

Nice guys, and industry lifers, too. I met Flemming and MacFarlane at their busy construction site the other day, and from what I gathered it sounds like they’re aiming to serve fun but sophisticated comfort food, with the menu changing as often as the seasons. The word “local” was thrown around, too, and in context with ingredients. Permit me my doubts. In the restaurant business, there are few terms more abused than “local” these days. The original usage of it is badly wounded, run over by a Sysco truck and then shot in the knees by a green-washing PR hack just doing his job. I can’t say if that’s the case with Tuc, but let’s just say I’ll believe it when I see them buying CSA subscriptions and building relationships with local farmers.

Regardless of the sourcing, the food still sounded promising. “It’s like you go to a friend’s house for dinner and that friend is a chef,” MacFarlane explained. When pressed for dish examples, he and Flemming offered up hanger steak bourguignon (a “deconstruction”), parsnip fritters, pork belly, crackling (mmm), tagine, and so on, with many of them served in cast iron skillets. Price points should be in the $3-$22 range, with a rib-eye likely coming in below $30. As far as their cocktail program is concerned, I think they’re looking for speed of execution above all else (ie. not the place to order an Old Fashioned).

Like I said, it all sounds tasty enough. The only thing that has me wary is the branding. The graphic looks like it was designed for a construction subsidiary of Concord Pacific (reminiscent of Yaletown’s R.TL), and the name itself – Tuc Craft Kitchen – is on the weak side of lame. It’s the word “tuck” – as in “tuck into some food” or “tuck shop” – but with the letter “K” removed for no good reason that I can fathom except for the vague hope that it might make it cooler. (Because, you know…Gastown.) I’m also assuming that the “Craft Kitchen” suffix is merely a redundant reminder to all comers that the restaurant actually has a kitchen, and that cooking is indeed a craft. I further suspect that they’re just a couple of pointless marketing buzzwords, and when you attach two buzzwords to a third word minus a perfectly good consonant, that makes three buzzwords, and three buzzwords are always better than just one. Or something.

But what’s in a name? They could have called it something much worse, like Social Tasting Kitchen Wet Bar & Secret Gastro Craft Resto Lounge, and we all would have laughed deep and long and heartily (I just trademarked that, Gershkowitz, so back the hell off). The truth is that there are plenty of horrifically named restaurants in Vancouver that are well worth a visit. It’s just that if the food, service, and atmosphere invite derision as easily as the identity does, then the market will do what it did to Space Lounge, Shaken Not Stirred, and other recent disasters — it will studiously avoid the address except to giggle at it from a safe distance in spasms of schadenfreude.

How likely is that scenario? Not very, because the safe money is on Gastown these days. If a place serving Red Bull-flavoured chicken wings can thrive and the laughable Secret Location has yet to burn down in an insurance scam, then anything is possible. What’s more, considering how the owners all come from the tightly controlled world of corporate restaurants, they probably have their systems dialed in like a diamond mine’s.

The space itself is full of opportunity: a long, thin concrete box with very high ceilings. To dress it up, they’re employing a lot of materials that they reclaimed from a recent demolition on 2nd Avenue. “We have old growth fir planks, tongue and groove yellow cedar and fir; all formerly structural and floor materials” MacFarlane says. He adds that the south and east walls of the restaurant will be covered in old tin found on a farm in Oregon.  The closed kitchen at the back looks tiny, but it’s big enough to do the job. Above it is a freshly constructed mezzanine that will end up seating 30. A 10 stool bar faces the remaining 50 seats in the main floor’s dining room. Big picture windows at the front will bring in at least some natural light, which should make the fir, cedar, and tin rather happy.

As you can see from the shots above and renderings below, they still have a ways to go…

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

—————————————————————————————–

Andrew Morrison is the editor-in-chief of Scout and BC’s Senior Judge at the Canadian Culinary Championships. He contributes regularly to a wide range of publications, radio programs, and TV shows on local food, culture and travel. He live and works in the vibrant Strathcona neighbourhood, where he also collects inexpensive things and enjoys birds, skateboards, whisky, shoes, many songs, and the smell of wood fires.

#ScoutThis

There are 41 comments

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

Diner Delicious restaurant intel...

DINER | Another Hintless, Next-To-Impossible ‘Name That Vancouver Restaurant’ Challenge

DINER | Another Hintless, Next-To-Impossible ‘Name That Vancouver Restaurant’ Challenge

by Andrew Morrison | This game challenges Vancouverites to identify local establishments by revealing only a tiny facet of their interiors. It might look… more 

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Vancouver’s Best Restaurants & Peacocks That Drink Too Much

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Vancouver’s Best Restaurants & Peacocks That Drink Too Much

by Talia Kleinplatz | Local chocolatier Lisa Lou converts her Main Street Chocolate Bar into an ice cream shop for the summer, serving up a selection of frozen… more 

OPENING SOON | ‘Vegan Supply’ Primed For Launch At 250 East Pender St. In Chinatown

OPENING SOON | ‘Vegan Supply’ Primed For Launch At 250 East Pender St. In Chinatown

by Andrew Morrison | Walking into an all-vegan grocery was an odd experience. It was a little like entering a lingerie store. While I could see straight away… more 

HEADS UP | Deliciously Focused Pasta & Wine Pop-Up Returning To Gastown – Wed, July 5th

HEADS UP | Deliciously Focused Pasta & Wine Pop-Up Returning To Gastown – Wed, July 5th

by Ken Tsui | Inspired by the bar à vin scene of Paris and the relaxed brewery vibes of Vancouver, Siôn Iorwerth started teaming up with The Birds and The… more 

DINER | A Look Inside The Highly Anticipated, Imminent ‘Rhinofish’ Noodle Bar In Chinatown

DINER | A Look Inside The Highly Anticipated, Imminent ‘Rhinofish’ Noodle Bar In Chinatown

by Andrew Morrison | I've been looking forward to the launch of Rhinofish since I first got wind of its coming last Autumn, so when I noticed the paper had… more 

HEADS UP | Taste The Flavours Of The World On June 24th At UBC Farm’s ‘Joy Of Feeding’

HEADS UP | Taste The Flavours Of The World On June 24th At UBC Farm’s ‘Joy Of Feeding’

by Thalia Stopa | On June 24th, UBC Farm will once again be converted into an international picnic for the 6th annual Joy of Feeding fundraiser. The singular… more 

DINER | Another Hintless, Next-To-Impossible ‘Name That Vancouver Restaurant’ Challenge

DINER | Another Hintless, Next-To-Impossible ‘Name That Vancouver Restaurant’ Challenge

by Andrew Morrison | This game challenges Vancouverites to identify local establishments by revealing only a tiny facet of their interiors. It might look… more 

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Amazing Burgers And What Trump Means To Restaurant Labour

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Amazing Burgers And What Trump Means To Restaurant Labour

by Talia Kleinplatz | Check out what happens when you put 20 of the best chefs in the world in one kitchen and task them with creating 40 new recipes in 16… more 

The scout Community

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters & Lucky’s Doughnuts Acorn Agrius Ai & Om Alibi Room Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio Anh and Chi AnnaLena Araxi Arbor 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 Wagon Rouge Bittered Sling Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar Botanist Bottleneck Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar Bufala Burdock & Co. Cabrito Cacao 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 Dixie’s Authentic Texas BBQ Earnest Ice Cream East Van Roasters Cafe Edible Canada El Santo Elementa Espana Fable Fanny Bay Farmer’s Apprentice Fat Mao Fayuca Fernwood Coffee Company Field & Social Forage Giovane Cafe + Eatery Gotham Steakhouse & Bar Grain Granville Island Grapes & Soda Greenhorn Espresso Bar Gyoza Bar Hart House Restaurant Harvest Community Foods Hawksworth Restaurant Heirloom Heritage Asian Eatery Homer Street Cafe & Bar Hy’s Steakhouse Irish Heather Jamjar JJ Bean Joe Pizza Joy Road Catering Juice Truck Juke Fried Chicken Juniper Kafka’s Coffee & Tea Keefer Bar Kin Kao Kissa Tanto Knifewear Kozakura Kuma Tofino L’Abattoir La Buca La Mezcaleria La Pentola La Quercia La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop Les Amis du Fromage Lions Pub, The Liquidity Bistro Lobby Lounge + RawBar Longtail Kitchen Lucha Verde Made By Pacific Maenam Mak N Ming Mamie Taylor’s MARKET by Jean-Georges Matchstick Coffee Roasters Meinhardt Fine Foods Miku Restaurant Milano Coffee Minami Miradoro Mission Mister Mogiana Coffee Mosquito Nero Belgian Waffle Bar Nicli Antica Pizzeria Nightingale Nomad Nook Nuba Oakwood Canadian Bistro OLO OPUS Bar Osteria Savio Volpe Oyama Sausage Co. Pallet Coffee Roasters Pat’s Pub & BrewHouse Pidgin Pizzeria Farina Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn, The Pourhouse Railtown Cafe Railtown Catering Rain Or Shine Ice Cream Red Wagon, The Revolver Coffee Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Royal Dinette Salt Tasting Room Savoury Chef Shaughnessy Restaurant Shebeen Whisk(e)y House Shelter Six Acres Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe Sorella Stable House, The 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 Vij’s Restaurant Virtuous Pie 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 .