DINER: “The Flying Pig” To Open In The Old Chronic Tacos Spot In Gastown This Spring

February 1, 2013.

by Andrew Morrison | 102 Water St. may be one of the better addresses in Gastown, but I think it’s also one of the most abused. It’s been at least six restaurants since its days as the lobby of the old Winters Hotel (Vallarta, Daiwa Sushi, etc). Maybe even more. Its most recent tenant was Chronic Tacos, a chain restaurant that had all the personality of a brick. The old 1906 building, designed by William Tuff Whiteway, is crying out for some stability out front, and I think they’ll get some now. The Flying Pig, a two year old, chef-owned restaurant in Yaletown, has just signed for and taken possession of the space this afternoon.

Owner/chefs John Crook (bottom left) and Erik Heck (top right) are turning it into be a second location of their fledgling brand, with the doors expected to before the end of April. They hope to add a long bar to pretty much exactly where the hotel’s old bar used to be before it was ripped out, and they’re downsized the entirety from 175 seats to 140. There will be a lounge side and a dining side (with the 30 seat mezzanine), with the adjacent space that housed Chronic Tacos’ “to go” operation seeing a community table for 14-16 people. This latter space will be used for private functions and as a chef’s table at night and as a sit-down/takeaway delicatessen by day. A two section patio (Abbott St. and Water St.) will seat an additional 35.

The lovely old bones of the place aren’t far beneath the surface. It’s a “lipstick and make-up job”, says Crook of the renovation. As for the menu, expect it to be the same as the one in Yaletown, which is to say that the food will be hearty, rib-sticking, and delicious. I think their drink offerings could use some improvement (a tasty Caesar cocktail and a good Negroni, but the beer and wine lists are weak), but food at The Flying Pig is riveting, the kind of place where cravings are well met, especially at lunch, so I’m really looking forward to this one. Mmm, short rib macaroni, crispy brussells sprouts, three pea soup with ham hock, creamed corn…you know what I mean?

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

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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.

  • Chris

    Yuck – not another overpriced restaurant!!!!

    Chronic tacos was great – i am going to miss burrito mondays!! For 7 dollars it was a great deal! It was a place locals could afford.

  • Jeff

    ^ Nice try, Randy Wyner

  • Hungry Foodie

    I won’t miss Chronic Tacos but I am worried about the Yaletownification of Gastown. How much longer until a Global restaurant sets up shop?

  • Kerry

    It’s only a matter of time that gas town turns into Yaletown. That’s what happens in all cities around the world, artists move in, gays move in and then the douche bags follow when it’s all clean, so their little doggies don’t step on needles.
    Actually it will probably happen faster here, the ratio of douche bags to cool people is 100 to 1 in Vancouver.

  • Tracey

    Not a fan of what Yaletown attracts, however is it any worse than a bunch of self-imposed snot nosed hipsters? I think not. The attitude can go. (eye roll to the above comments)
    Shouldn’t you be more concerned about what gentrification does to the area close by, rather than concerned about “Yaletown” moving in? Seriously.

  • http://seanorr.tumblr.com/ Sean Orr

    Yaletown was wholesale and immediate gentrification. Gastown as a historical entity was essentially invented out of thin air to save it from highway development, ergo it was gentrified in the 70s. Do you want to start blaming Al Porto and Water Street Cafe (owned by Glowbal) too?

  • spiceman

    I’m pretty sure Water St is still independently owned, Glowbal bought the building.

  • Kerry

    Here’s my eye roll to Tracey’s comment. Seriously tired of you and all the other people who probably don’t live down here throwing that term gentrification around. Where do you live? Where do you eat? What shops do you support? Did they gentrify the neighbourhood their in?
    Why can’t people who make money eat in other areas of the city? Am I a criminal because I make good money and live in Gastown surrounded by despair? My taxes go toward supporting those less fortunate which I’m fine with. What I’m not fine with is people like you, PHS, attira….who continue to make this neighbourhoods ghetto but still want hand outs from people like me. The economy has to keep moving or the handouts stop.

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