DINER | Jack Evrensel Sells West, CinCin, Blue Water Cafe, Thierry, Araxi To Aquilinis

March 18, 2014.

jack

by Andrew Morrison | There have been rumblings about this for several months, but today it’s official. As of this morning, the Aquilini Group is now in full possession of Toptable, the collection of eateries developed over the past 33 years by legendary Vancouver restaurateur Jack Evrensel. The official announcement will be released to the media this afternoon.

Evrensel opened some of the most successful and impactful eateries we’ve ever had. These included them Araxi (Whistler) in 1981, CinCin in 1990, Blue Water Cafe and West in 2000 (two months apart), and Thierry in 2011. Many of Vancouver’s top bartenders, servers, sommeliers, managers, and chefs honed their skills under the Toptable umbrella – so many that they’re hard to count. And the staff they currently have on payroll are some of the best in the business.

“Our team has never been stronger nor this rich in talent,” Evrensel is quoted as saying in the official news release that is coming out this afternoon. He attributes this to the commitment and passion of the company’s “award-winning chefs, renowned restaurant and wine directors, and dedicated employees,” but at least some of the credit needs to be pointed his way. I’ve seen perhaps one of two restaurateurs in my life who are as dedicated to the higher standards of hospitality. What has set Jack apart, however, has been his penchant for managing from the background. There’s never been any personal glory-basking or attention-seeking. In all the years that I’ve been reporting on restaurants, I’ve managed to take his photo just once, at an Araxi long table supper on Pemberton’s North Arm Farm several years ago (see above). I remember him shifting his weight to one leg and tilting his head as if to say, “Aw, c’mon” like a little kid. I trust that he’s doing that right now as he reads this.

Evrensel will stay for the next three months in a consulting role to help manage the transition, and operations will continue as normal. On the phone yesterday, he couldn’t tell me what he was going to do after that. “I really don’t know. I’ve never really had a five year plan. I go with the flow. I’m at peace. I don’t know the future, and that’s the way I like it.”

I don’t expect the Aquilini Group – a real estate, development, renewable energy, sports, and entertainment behemoth – will mess around with a good thing. The managers currently in place at every Toptable property are at the top of their game, so the maintenance of the status quo sounds ideal.

All I know for certain is that Jack deserves a round of applause, not only for a long career of excellence, but also for finding and locking down the one deep-pocketed buyer who could afford to take his considerable life’s work off his hands.

Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

#ScoutThis

There are 18 comments

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

Diner Delicious restaurant intel...

DINER | Rain-Craving Noodles? Scout Readers Rank The 11 Best Ramen Houses In Vancouver

DINER | Rain-Craving Noodles? Scout Readers Rank The 11 Best Ramen Houses In Vancouver

by Andrew Morrison | I don't want to date this list, but at the time of writing my wife is away in Japan and here in Strathcona it's pouring with rain in the… more 

HEADS UP | Family Matters’ Mark Singson To Chef Next ‘Greasy Spoon’ Dinner — Jan. 23rd

HEADS UP | Family Matters’ Mark Singson To Chef Next ‘Greasy Spoon’ Dinner — Jan. 23rd

Chef Mark Singson, founder of the collaborative Family Matters pop-up dinner series (and former Annalena sous chef), is on deck to cook the next Greasy… more 

DINER | Nook Team Lands ‘Smoking Dog’ Spot In Kits, Planning For Veg-Forward Italian Joint

DINER | Nook Team Lands ‘Smoking Dog’ Spot In Kits, Planning For Veg-Forward Italian Joint

by Andrew Morrison | As if the folks at Nook and Tavola weren't busy enough, they've now got two new restaurants on the way. The third location of Nook is… more 

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On The Closing Of Books To Cooks And Making Dinner For Trump

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On The Closing Of Books To Cooks And Making Dinner For Trump

by Talia Kleinplatz | Excerpts from a recently published book on Canada’s culinary identity detail some concerning information on the effects of climate… more 

VANCOUVER WOULD BE COOLER IF #282 | Restaurant Staff Were Celebrated On Menus

VANCOUVER WOULD BE COOLER IF #282 | Restaurant Staff Were Celebrated On Menus

The point of VWBCI is to open local minds to outside practices, concepts, and ideas that might stand to improve our greater civic situation in a parallel… more 

SEEN IN VANCOUVER #584 | ‘Joe Pizza’ Opens Softly At Carrall & Cordova In Gastown

SEEN IN VANCOUVER #584 | ‘Joe Pizza’ Opens Softly At Carrall & Cordova In Gastown

by Andrew Morrison | I'd been really looking forward to trying the square, thick-crusted 'al taglio' style creations at Joe Pizza so when they opened for a… more 

DINER | Ask For Luigi To Host Jan. 23 Pop-Up To Introduce Upcoming ‘St. Lawrence’ Eatery

DINER | Ask For Luigi To Host Jan. 23 Pop-Up To Introduce Upcoming ‘St. Lawrence’ Eatery

by Andrew Morrison | St. Lawrence hasn't even opened yet but it sure does attract a lot of buzz. The upcoming, Quebec-inspired restaurant - from the same folks… more 

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Sipping Cock Ale & Waiting For The Restaurant Bubble To Burst

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Sipping Cock Ale & Waiting For The Restaurant Bubble To Burst

by Talia Kleinplatz | The combination of a flooded restaurant market and a shortage of hospitality staff has some arguing that we are in the age of a… more 

The scout Community

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters & Lucky’s Doughnuts Acorn Agrius Alibi Room Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio 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 Pastis Bistro Wagon Rouge Bittered Sling Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar Bottleneck 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 Edible Canada Elementa Espana Exile Bistro Fable Fanny Bay Farmer’s Apprentice Fat Badger Fat Mao Fernwood Coffee Company 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 Heritage Asian Eatery Homer Street Cafe & Bar Hy’s Steakhouse Irish Heather Jamjar JJ Bean Joy Road Catering Juice Truck Juke Fried Chicken Juniper 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 Latab Wine Bar Les Amis du Fromage Lions Pub, The Liquidity Bistro Little District Lobby Lounge + RawBar Longtail Kitchen Made By Pacific Maenam Mamie Taylor’s MARKET by Jean-Georges Matchstick Coffee Roasters Meat & Bread 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 Phoenix Perennials Pidgin Pied-à-Terre 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 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 Sorella Stable House, The Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall 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 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 .