There are so many restaurants out there that to dwell on the loss of one feels foolish and indulgent. And yet so many of us are indulgent fools! We’ve done this before (Lumiere, Boneta, Gastropod, Aurora Bistro, Lucy Mae Brown), but here are another five departed eateries that still linger long on the palate.
Lucky Diner | 1269 Hamilton Street. | Closed May 2007 | Cheffed by ex-Aurora Bistro sous Dan Tigchelaar with a front of house crew that included (if memory serves) Mark Brand and Jay Jones (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong), this Sean Heather-owned bit of weirdness in Yaletown dished up bacon-wrapped meatloaf and mixed bourbon milkshakes but somehow never made it to see its first birthday. Tragic.
La Ghianda | 2083 Alma St. | Closed March 2013 | Now: Yuji’s from Japan | Located just around the corner from its critically acclaimed parent eatery, La Quercia, this daytime-only Italian deli plated freshly made pastas (oh, that orrechiette bolognese!) and fantastic sandwiches but was fated to close on account of the soon-to-split owners, Adam Pegg and Lucais Syme, spreading themselves too thin (they were also running La Pentola at the time).
Fat Dragon | 566 Powell St. | Closed December, 2012 | Now: Groundswell Cafe | True story: once upon a time the people behind the Campagnolo restaurants opened a Asian-meets-American BBQ joint on the Downtown Eastside. Fat Dragon served up fat-slicked noodles, chicken-fried oysters, crab fried rice, Korean BBQ pork and many other delicious things besides (we miss their briefly famous Junmai Sour cocktail dearly).
Sea Monstr Sushi | 55 Powell St. | Closed: September 2014 | Now: The Birds & The Beets | A lot of Gastownians were thrilled with the launch of Alex Usow and Mark Brand’s Sea Monstr Sushi in the Fall of 2010. The sushi counter was like the cherry on top after a whirlwind of new restaurant openings brought a dozen or so exciting options to within stumbling distance of Gassy Jack. We also miss its twin retail shop, Sharks + Hammers.
Chow | 3121 Granville St. | Closed May 2009 | Now: Pho Hoa | I’ve previously waxed pink about this place, Chef JC Poirier’s first restaurant, and I still think about it whenever I’m in the South Granville area. We should actually be a little glad that it didn’t work out, because if it had we probably wouldn’t have ever seen Pizzeria Farina, Ask For Luigi, or the imminent St. Lawrence come our way. Still…what a shame it didn’t last!
Lucky Diner photo courtesy Tom Magliery