An old school, throwback diner called Douce is opening in the old Corner Café location at 1490 Pemberton Avenue in North Vancouver later this winter.
The 1,000 sqft, 46 seat, family-friendly restaurant is coming to us from chef Dawn Doucette (hence the name), who for the past decade has worked in catering and culinary consulting for such brands as Earls, Saltlik, Bridge Brewing Co., Caffe Artigiano, Town Hall and Bridge Brewing Co.. You might also recognize her as a competitor on Top Chef Canada.
It’s a family affair, with Dawn’s sister Timi Fuller (of Wandering Eye Design) doing the retro look, while her husband, Nino Giangrande (a noted builder of passive homes), is doing the construction. The few renderings I’ve seen (included below) look pretty awesome. I can’t wait to see what it’ll look like inside.
Douce Diner will be open for breakfast, lunch and brunch to begin with, serving up familiar comfort food dishes made with locally sourced, fresh ingredients. We’re talking chicken fried steak and biscuits, grits with Canadian bacon and Little Qualicum cheese, grass-fed burgers (made with Two Rivers beef), Croque Madame, Tourtiere, waffles, po’boys, fresh pies, layer cakes, and so on.
No matter what the places looks and feels like, the menu is where the excitement is. Development chefs like Dawn don’t mess around. They dial in dishes like mechanics tune up cars. And to extend the metaphor, when confronted with true classics (eg. chicken fried steak = ’57 Chevy) they pay extra close attention with a special reverence. The old school diner concept is perfect for Dawn, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how deliciously she nails it.
When Douce Diner launches in late February, expect opening hours of 7am to 3pm daily. They will be applying for a liquor license, so operations could expand into evenings later in the the year.