Take a Look Inside the New MeeT, Opening Soon in Yaletown

The third location of vegan chainlet MeeT is currently under construction at 1165 Mainland Street in Yaletown. Industry observers might recognize it as a bit of a daunting, possibly haunted address. In the last decade it has been home to such fallen forgettables like The Hub and Browns Social House. Can MeeT make it work?

I think they have a better chance than their predecessors. Their success in Gastown surprised me; they found a way to make the old Boneta space work after the short-lived Shirakawa couldn’t (it lasted all of one year). Their Main Street location is also gangbusters busy. Many of my vegetarian friends wax drooly over its comfort food menu, and though I’m not a vegetarian and thus have never found equal joy in the selections beyond a few dishes (eg. highly addictive chili-glazed cauliflower), I certainly get the appeal.

There is an ever-growing strata of the populace – vegetarians and vegans – with few scratch options for their “guilty pleasure” itches. Of course, creatively, it’s not in the same league as, say, The Acorn, but I still appreciate the zealotry of their casual, psychological approach to the milieu, mining as they do a movement’s yen for the saccharine and the familiar with sharp picks and shovels of meatless nachos and poutine.

Interior detail. MeeT in Yaletown | Photo: Scout Magazine

They took possession of the 2,400 sqft space back in November. Construction has come a long way since. During my walkthrough yesterday I got a little dizzy from the flashback whiplash of having been in the exact same space through its many iterations. The basic footprint and body count remains the same with seats for 100 inside and another 50 out on the heated sidewalk patio. That doesn’t mean it will look the same, of course. Far from it.

Where the clamshell booths used to be are now a series of picnic table style booths. The huge, U-shaped bar – once grotesquely dominated by the blue light of too many television screens – is being dressed anew with 20 seats. The expanse of the dining room will see a feature wall for rotating works of art above the incoming banquette and wooden chevron panelling — something you can also see at the Main St. location. The kitchen – the one core constant – remains as voluminous as ever with a sweeping service window view of the action.

The menu, I’m told, will be the same as the other locations with a few special add-ons, so expect tempting burgers, bowls, cronuts, mojitos and so on. They have this stuff pretty well dialled, so I feel confident in saying we can anticipate affordable, cosseting tastiness when it softly opens in mid-February. Take a closer look at how things are coming along below…

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UPDATE: The original version of this post incorrectly had LK Dining Lounge, Charlies and Pinkys as other unsuccessful restaurants associated with this address. I apologize for the error.

There are 5 comments

  1. I didn’t realize that Yaletown had its own version of 850 Thurlow. Its almost shocking how many times a specific location can kill off many a restaurant but still have people lining up to take it. I am sure Meet will do just fine though.

  2. I think the LK dining Lounge and Pinky’s and Charlie’s were on the cursed 1200 block of Hamilton, as was Society, Coast, Diner, Lucky Diner……..but alas, you are correct…….the 1165 Mainland spot has been a few places over the years……Brown’s, the Hub. The changes have been fast and furious so it is hard to keep it all straight.

  3. (Please delete my first comment as it had some typos and this line. Thanks)

    Thanks for the article about MeeT in Yaletown. I knew for a while that they were planning on a new location in Yaletown and I’m pleased to now read about it.

    The other locations have a fully vegan menu (just ate in Gastown tonight) and as far as I know their new location will be totally vegan too.

    The term vegetarian chainlet therefor doesn’t work as could be confusing to vegans who are used to the MeeT standard and especially new vegans who make the transition from vegetarian to vegan.

    I as a vegan myself can only say, I love having a menu in my hand, where I know all the items are entirely cruelty free as I try to support fully vegan restaurants foremost, like MeeT, Chickpea, Virtuouse Pie, Eternal Abundance, 3G, Panz, Dharma kitchen, Vegan Pizza House and many more. Plus I love that I don’t have to ask if this or that meal is made with vegan cheese or not. Often I don’t even look at the menu and order a yummy feature of the day or my favourite meal.

    I hope there will be many more new MeeT locations and other vegans restaurants in the future.

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