DINER | “Tacofino” Nabs Gastown Location, Set To Open In Blood Alley Before Christmas
by Andrew Morrison | Gastown’s ancient and long dormant Pig & Whistle location (15 West Cordova) has been attracting plenty interested parties looking to capitalise on the neighbourhood’s rise. It’s nothing short of astounding that nothing has opened there in the last decade. I mean, it’s right next door to the original Boneta and around the corner from Gassy Jack Square with entrances on both West Cordova and Blood Alley. It’s a prime spot – definitely a fixer-upper like so many character buildings in Gastown – and the truth of it is that people have tried to pick it up. A lot of well known restaurateurs have taken good, long, hard looks at it and either balked or bolted. There was even a restaurant company that signed a lease (last year) and then shat the bed by running out of money, thereby leaving a lot of people in the lurch.
Tacofino finally inked their deal a few days ago, and are set to pick up where the last almost-tenant left off. We can confirm that they’re aiming to have the 3,000sqft space set with 80 seats and open to the public by the winter. The main entrance will be in Blood Alley, across a 15 seat patio, but those looking for the food truck experience (Tacofino, you’ll recall, started out as a food truck), can visit the takeaway window that’s being built for the Cordova side.
I recently visited the space with owners Ryan Spong and Jason Sussman (missing Kaeli Robinsong, who is in Tofino at the moment), GM Gino De Domenico, and chef de cuisine Christine Deyoung, all of whom were excited at the prospect of trying something new with the Tacofino brand. The new menu, Sussman says, “will be inspired by everything that we’ve done so far.” Some favourites – things that have been on their food truck and commissary menus – will stay. I trust, for example, that they won’t mess with their fish taco or their margaritas. That being said, I’m stoked to see what new stuff they come up with, and I’m particularly interested in seeing what a patio looks like in Blood Alley. They’re hoping to start construction soon and plan on having it open before Christmas,. And what a nice present that would be! Check the photos below for a taste of what these guys do…