Lucky Taco held it’s first friends and family service on Tuesday night. The new 36 seat restaurant from James Iranzad and Josh Pape of Gooseneck Hospitality (see also Bufala, Wildebeest) replaces Supermarine almost exactly one year after its launch at 1685 Yew Street in Kitsilano.
“It’s a simple cantina,” Iranzad explains, adding: “As much as Supermarine had a lot to offer it lacked the vibrancy that Lucky Taco brings.” And vibrant it is. I snuck in for a peek as they were setting up for their trial run and it looked like it would make for a fun, jovial environment, especially late at night (open until 2am) or for brunch on the 12 seat patio. It’s less slick than Supermarine was, more of a hang-out than an aspiration. They had old school sign painters in to do the signage and interior script details; Pape’s sister Jada was enlisted to do the mural work; and Gooseneck’s own polymath operations manager Nick Miller was tasked with the tight branding.
Apparently, Gooseneck had been working on a Mexican concept for a year and a half, even coming close to pulling the trigger on a space a little deeper into the West Side. When that deal fell through a month and a half ago they found themselves so in love with the prospect of owning a taqueria that they decided to just go ahead and supplant Supermarine with it. “Supermarine didn’t go badly,” Iranzad asserts. “It just didn’t connect as well as we wanted it to, and we’re in the hospitality business. We want to do things that really make sense to people.” I’m a little biased toward risk and differentiation, but I’ll wager tacos will make better sense on Yew Street than octopus chips.
Long-time Supermarine fixture Neil Morrison is on the line doing the cooking with sous chef Sam Welland, but the menu was designed by chef Bryan Satterford, co-owner of the imminent, highly anticipated Juke restaurant in Chinatown. It reads like a charm, as does the cocktail list by bar manager Adam Domet (also a Supermarine vet).
The 36 seater is in ‘soft open’ mode through the weekend with a carefully managed door so they can find their rhythm with volumes. That goes for weekend brunch service, too. I’ll be giving them a proper try when they launch for real next week.