DINER | When Chambar Moves Next Door, What Happens To The Much-Loved Medina?


by Andrew Morrison | When we recently broke the news about Chambar’s expansion plans, we promised that we’d let you know about the fate of Medina, the dizzyingly popular brunch spot that Chambar is umbilically connected to. First, some background…

Chambar owners Karri and Nico Schuermans launched Medina together with an former employee of theirs, Robbie Kane, almost seven years ago. It was a time when the brunch scene in Vancouver was suffering from broad bouts of ubiquity. Granted, there were a lot of eateries offering brunch back then, but for the most part they adhered hard to the mimosa and benny traditions, which is to say that one could get the same lazy weekend mid-day meal at one restaurant and the next, ad infinitum. Medina was refreshing because it broke through the mold with things like Liege waffles with lavender chocolate and caramel, sizzling fricasee pans of fried eggs with braised short rib, arugula and applewood smoked cheddar (my personal fave), and coffee worthy of a second cup. It didn’t take long for Medina to attract daily line-ups, and soon it expanded to include more seats in a rear dining room. In very short order, it became the most highly recommended brunch spot in the city, a position that it still holds to this day.

So with Chambar moving and expanding their hours to include breakfast and brunch, the fate of Medina was unclear. The lease might be up, but even it wasn’t it would have to close so Nico and Karri wouldn’t have to compete with themselves right next door when they launched Chambar 2.0. But will Medina ever re-open? Of course it will. It’s too successful a brand to be left by the wayside, but it will have to move.

“I just want to tell all our customers that they shouldn’t worry,” Robbie told me over the weekend. “I’m looking for a new location for Medina as we speak, and I’m looking very hard.” Where that will be remains up in the air (we’ll let you know as soon as the deal is signed), but Robbie hopes to have the new Medina open this Spring, roundabout the same time that the old Medina closes.

Where Would You Like To See The New Medina?

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21 Responses to “DINER | When Chambar Moves Next Door, What Happens To The Much-Loved Medina?”

  1. Trevor on October 23rd, 2013 3:00 pm

    I’d love to see Medina near Athlete’s Village.

  2. Captain Medina on October 23rd, 2013 6:20 pm

    I love how this is essentially a vote on where Scout Magazine readers spend their time, or live. Athlete’s Village sounds like a terrible idea though. There’s no character there, and Medina’s brilliance was that it was chock full of it.

  3. Jonathan Chovancek on October 23rd, 2013 7:04 pm

    Please please pleaseeeeeee come to the West End Robbie – we need you here!

  4. RicardoB on October 23rd, 2013 9:26 pm

    @Captain Medina That’s how places get character. Mt. Pleasant was once dull.

  5. Cameron on October 24th, 2013 5:16 am

    Oh gosh, I’d come anywhere. That place is AMAZING!

  6. Carmen on October 24th, 2013 8:07 am


  7. Peter on October 24th, 2013 8:37 am

    Anything in the Crosstown/Chinatown area. The ambiance is part of the Medina experience.

    Athlete’s village? Place has zero character, it’s pleasantville.

  8. Mojan Butler (@Mobler) on October 24th, 2013 9:19 am

    I would love to see Medina in the Gastown/Chinatown area, as I live nearby and it has been a staple brunch spot for years. I would hate to see Medina move far, as my ‘downtown bubble’ does not have me crossing bridges for brunch often.

  9. Scout Magazine on October 24th, 2013 9:44 am

    We miss you over here, Carmen!

  10. Robbie on October 24th, 2013 12:21 pm

    Thanks all. Please continue to let me know your thoughts. Medina needs special new digs. Feel free to email me robbie@medinacafe.com if you have any special leasing opportunities that might be suitable.

    ….and Carmen Victoria is definitely a possibility down the road ; )

  11. Danielle 'Danny' on October 26th, 2013 3:31 pm

    Wherever it goes, I will be there! Can’t wait to see what the team comes up with! I miss me some Medina coffee and delicious food :)

  12. Lilly Barnes on October 28th, 2013 3:06 pm

    In downtown Toronto, near Bloor and Spadina.

    Hey, you asked.


  13. 1Buser on November 6th, 2013 8:55 pm

    Would fit in nicely in Willington Heights, Burnaby or nearby Rupert-East Village.

  14. 1Buser on November 6th, 2013 8:56 pm

    No offense but the West End/Davie kills restaurants. Presently not a smart place to set up shop.

  15. Sean Sherwood on November 7th, 2013 8:59 pm

    1Buser I’d have agreed with you if I hadn’t just been in Espana on a Sunday night and witnessed a packed house roll 3 turns. Pretty sure Raincity has done alright as well. High rents there are starting to come down, I’m anticipating a renaissance on Denman in the next 3-5 years.

  16. Maia on November 9th, 2013 12:40 am

    Olympic Village! There is a buzz going on here . . . with many excellent people moving into this playful ‘hood.

  17. almostalwayshungry on November 26th, 2013 1:32 am

    The soon-to-be-old Boneta space!

  18. Matt on November 26th, 2013 7:34 pm

    Besides the great food and ambiance of Medina is it’s location.I say stay as close to or in the area you are now.Chinatown is going through huge resurgence and it’d be great to see Medina move into the area.

  19. Nhaji Urrutia on November 28th, 2013 4:47 pm

    Kerrisdale would be a great addition to our community atmosphere!!

  20. Smartini on February 28th, 2014 2:03 pm

    Interesting results – but kind of a skewed survey because I’d assume the majority of readers of Scout are from Gastown, Mt. Pleasant or Strathcona anyhow – so the fact that these places are 1, 2 and 3 isn’t a shocker. Not a representative sample of the Vancouver demographic. The question and results would have more validity if you surveyed people at the tables of Medina.

  21. Karri on April 18th, 2014 1:00 am

    Likely will take over the old Q4 / Tappos location at the l’Hermitage Hotel on Richards. Definitely a welcome addition to the area and much more suited than the Q4 restaurant was.