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 | R&B Brewing Co.’s Cozy, Original 60 Seat ‘Ale & Pizza House’ Imminent On East 4th

DINER | R&B Brewing Co.’s Cozy, Original 60 Seat ‘Ale & Pizza House’ Imminent On East 4th

by Andrew Morrison | R&B Brewing Co.'s new food primary establishment is imminent on East 4th Avenue, awaiting its opening all clear from the powers that… more 

DINER | New ‘Tide-To-Table’ Fanny Bay Oyster Bar Primed For Launch At 762 Cambie Street

DINER | New ‘Tide-To-Table’ Fanny Bay Oyster Bar Primed For Launch At 762 Cambie Street

by Andrew Morrison | Following a friends-and-family service and a media function, Fanny Bay Oyster Bar is set to open its doors in the Stadium District… more 

SCOUT 25 POLL | Our Readers Rank The Best Restaurants In The City, Summer 2016 Edition

SCOUT 25 POLL | Our Readers Rank The Best Restaurants In The City, Summer 2016 Edition

The Summer 2016 Scout 25 has just been released. It’s what you should feel confident giving to anyone who asks “Where should I eat in Vancouver?”… more 

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Agave In Trouble And The Importance Of Neighbourhood Joints

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Agave In Trouble And The Importance Of Neighbourhood Joints

by Talia Kleinplatz | Bummed that you missed Italian Day on Commercial Drive? Fear not! The festivities continue all throughout June for Italian Heritage… more 

DINER | Kappo-Style ‘Kozakura’ Restaurant Imminent In Gastown’s Old Notturno Location

DINER | Kappo-Style ‘Kozakura’ Restaurant Imminent In Gastown’s Old Notturno Location

by Andrew Morrison | The first friends and family action went down last night (Thursday, June 16th) at Kozakura in Gastown. To further sort out whatever kinks… more 

DINER | Fraserhood’s Cool, Charming, 30 Seat ‘Crowbar’ Ready For Launch At 646 Kingsway

DINER | Fraserhood’s Cool, Charming, 30 Seat ‘Crowbar’ Ready For Launch At 646 Kingsway

by Andrew Morrison | The first day of summer - June 20th - will bring with it the official launch of the much anticipated Crowbar at 646 Kingsway… more 

DINER | Team From ‘The Acorn’ On Main St. To Open ‘The Arbor’ On Same Block This Summer

DINER | Team From ‘The Acorn’ On Main St. To Open ‘The Arbor’ On Same Block This Summer

by Andrew Morrison | Shira Blustein and Scott Lewis, owners of the award-winning Acorn vegetarian restaurant on Main Street, have joined forces with former… more 

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On The World’s Best Restaurants And Chefs Instagramming Dinner

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On The World’s Best Restaurants And Chefs Instagramming Dinner

by Talia Kleinplatz | Vancouver Sun food writer Mia Stainsby takes a look at the impact of Instagram on the city’s food scene. From natural light to best… more 

The scout Community

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters & Lucky’s Doughnuts Acorn Alibi Room Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio AnnaLena Araxi 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 Pastis Bistro Wagon Rouge Bittered Sling Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar Bottleneck Bufala Burdock & Co. 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 Culinary Capers Catering & Special Events Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen District Brasserie Earnest Ice Cream Edible Canada Elementa Espana Exile Bistro Fable Fanny Bay Farmer’s Apprentice Fat Badger Fat Mao Field & Social Forage Giovane Cafe + Eatery Gotham Steakhouse & Bar Grain Granville Island Grapes & Soda Greenhorn Espresso Bar Gyoza Bar Harkness & Co. Harvest Community Foods Hawksworth Restaurant Heirloom Homer Street Cafe & Bar Hy’s Steakhouse Irish Heather Jamjar JJ Bean Joy Road Catering Juice Truck Juniper Keefer Bar Kin Kao Knifewear Kuma Tofino L’Abattoir La Buca La Mezcaleria La Pentola La Quercia La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop Latab Wine Bar Les Amis du Fromage Lions Pub, The Liquidity Bistro Little District Lobby Lounge + RawBar Lolita’s South Of The Border Cantina Longtail Kitchen Maenam Mamie Taylor’s MARKET by Jean-Georges Matchstick Coffee Roasters Meat & Bread Meinhardt Fine Foods Miku Restaurant Milano Coffee Minami Miradoro Mission Mogiana Coffee Mosquito Nicli Antica Pizzeria Nightingale Nomad Nook Notturno Nuba Oakwood Canadian Bistro OLO OPUS Bar Oru Osteria Savio Volpe Oyama Sausage Co. Pallet Coffee Roasters Pat’s Pub & BrewHouse Phoenix Perennials Pidgin Pied-à-Terre Pizzeria Farina Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn Pourhouse Railtown Cafe Railtown Catering Rain Or Shine Ice Cream Red Wagon, The Revolver Coffee Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Royal Dinette Sai Woo Salt Tasting Room Salty Tongue Café Savoury Chef Shaughnessy Restaurant Shebeen Whisk(e)y House Shelter Shika Provisions Siena Six Acres Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe Stable House, The Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall Supermarine 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 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 .