DINER: “Tableau Bar Bistro” Crew To Open New Restaurant In Yaletown This Summer

by Andrew Morrison | Led by principal Lilliana L. De Cotiis, the team behind Coal Harbour’s Tableau Bar Bistro – executive chef Marc-Andre Choquette, chef Tret Jordan, lead bartender J.S. Dupuis and manager Steven Wright – are opening a second restaurant, this time in Yaletown in the ancient Homer Cafe classic diner location (just across the street from Subeez).

When I say “ancient”, I’m talking in Vancouver years. The Homer Building at Smithe & Homer celebrates its 100th birthday in 2013, which is to say that it’s old enough for a history that stretches back beyond the Homer Cafe, with its famous pair of eggs with sausages and toast for $3.95. Prior to the humble Homer, it was the Stratos Cafe, and before that it was Rose’s Coffee Shop. Before that it was Pauline’s Cafe, and before that it was the Smithe Coffee Bar. Peel the layers back past the 1950′s and you’ll find a Japanese candy store, a cleaners, a grocery, a barber shop, and so on. It was always a community hub of some sort. You can see it in its bones.

Fast forward to the Fall of 2008, when The Homer underwent the knife. The major facelift, retrofit and rebrand was completed in the Fall of 2011 (you might remember the aged facade braced in glossy developer wrap marketing the place as “Yaletown’s last opportunity”). It’s now called The Beasley after former city planner Larry Beasley, and exists as the heritage foot forward and namesake of a brand new neighbouring 33 storey condo tower. To my knowledge, the only facet of the new development that has yet to be completed is the restaurant space, which was leased this past Fall.

De Cotiis et al have yet to reveal the name of the restaurant, which is slated to open at some point this summer. The food concept is also being kept a secret. For now all I can say is that it won’t be another Tableau Bar Bistro, which is fine by me. However much I might love that restaurant (and boy, do I ever), it’s important to remember that Marc-Andre Choquette is one of the best chefs in western Canada (Rob Feenie’s right hand man at Lumiere during its prime), one whose range is hardly tested by the classic French bistro milieu of moules and steak frites. It would be awesome if he let loose on a different, more innovative tack. But beggars can’t be choosers. At this early stage only one thing is for certain: whatever Choquette cooks, I’ll want to try it.

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  • Dan

    I’m not sure anyone in their right mind would open restsuant in Yaletown, right up there with the chain restaurants. There is only one truly good restauant in Yaletown which is Blue Water . I can only imagine how stupid expensive it is, rent wise. I think mostly tourists. I called it long ago that hotel restaurants good or bad struggle to keep abreast of the competition and in this city there is major league competition. And I mean seriously their first restauant
    must not be doing as well as the’d like. That’s why they came up with some lame plan on takeout?
    Do yourself a favour and open a place in the DTES away from the drug addicted lunatics who protest out side of great new restaurant claiming NIMBY ‘ism And the horseshit about gentrification. It’s going to happen folks despite your musings about homelessness. Mosf big cities develop areas that are not mainstream residential areas. The only reason you are here is because of the “warm” climate relative to anywhere east of here. And despite what’s he claims about eliminating homelessness, mayor Moonbeam loves developers because they shovel his stupid party by the buckload. They were the biggest contributor to his election campaign.

  • Cam_13

    I hope this is properly funded and the beast rock star that MA is will finally come out and greet Vancouver…One of the best cooks I’ve ever seen…

  • Doug

    Kudos to Dan, I would have written the exact same thing. I’m not a big fan of Paletown either but at least this is away from the masses.

  • Harold Worms

    Love the negativity, Dan. Classic Vancouver griping, from someone who obviously has no clue what a great food city he’s privileged to live in

    Sure Yaletown hit a rough patch for a few years, but what area of Vancouver hasn’t? I guess you missed the glory days of Gastown when it would have been happy to have wall to wall tourists. Loved The Spaghetti Factory as a kid by the way – took my kids there too.

    Getting back to Yaletown, “there’s only one truly good restaurant”? Are you kidding?

    How do you rate Rodney’s, The Flying Pig, Hapa Izakaya, Cioppino’s [obviously], not to mention – but I’ll mention – drinks at Killjoy, George, Glowbal, and yes, for an always reliable, no-fuss business lunch, even Cactus Club. The more great places, the merrier.

    If there are any great bakers out there, we could really use a genuine french [or any] bakery in the neighbourhood. I’ll be your best customer.

    Back to the Homer Street Cafe – congratulations, and welcome to the neighbourhood. We’re waiting for you. The list of great Yaletown restaurants increases….

    PS – My office is in Strathcona – I’ve worked there for the past decade. Sure, lots to recommend Gastown and DTES – it’s up and coming – enjoy!