OPENING SOON | First Look Inside The New (And Almost Finished) Location Of Chambar

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by Andrew Morrison | We broke the news of Chambar’s coming expansion back in October. The Belgian-Moroccan eatery – one of my personal favourites since it opened 10 years ago on Beatty Street – is only moving next door…

The new restaurant will be roughly twice the size of the current one, with about 270 seats between two levels, a 50 seat patio, and private rooms that can fit 20 – 80 people. There are lots of opportunities for new design motifs to fit in with the old, but I suspect it will look very similar to the original. Yes, in addition to the branding, relaxed vibe, deep drinks programs, and casual flirtations with fine dining, much of its furniture will also be making the move, which is great news because who doesn’t love the original tables, couches, banquettes and button-ed up red booths? ”The layout will be just like the old Chambar,” Karri explains, pointing out how the front will be the lounge and bar area that narrows at the waist to open up into a dining room. “The new place has brick and beams, too,” she adds, referring to the core aesthetic of the original. One big change is that the wall that divides the patio from the interior will be glass (said patio will also have its all-day sunshine filtered by young trees – sounds awesome). Also making the move will be the staff, though they’ll definitely be needing to hire a lot more people considering the breadth of their expansion.

30 more people, to be exact. They’ll need them, too, as the place is huge. I went on a tour with co-owner Karri Schuermans today and while it was clear that they still have a ways to go if they’re to meet their revised target opening date of the first week of August, most of what’s left to do is cosmetic. Most of the heavy lifting appeared to be done. As you can see from the shots below, it does resemble the layout of the original Chambar. The only obvious departures are the sprawling patio (which I expect will be pretty magical), the stairs that lead down to the massive kitchens and private room, the rooftop deck for further private functions (killer views from up there), the sound proofing at the entrance to the rear dining room, and the introduction of a new colour to the Chambar fold: a tealish green (evidenced on the wall section by the door and wave-like panel that spills across the ceiling above the bar).

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Owner/chef Nico Schuermans menus are also taking shape. He’ll be keeping plenty of the Cafe Medina (also moving) originals – which he developed in the first place – for breakfast service (fricassee, etc), while lunch and dinner will see classic mainstays like the lamb tagine and the moules frites joined by about 20 small plates, which are still in development. I don’t know how they could possibly improve on the drinks side of things, but they’re aiming to make life easier for the bar staff. The 22 seat bar is purpose-built for ease and efficiency (wells and rails galore), and the wines are going to be laid resplendent on racks inside a great big temperature-controlled walk-in box of glass just off the dining room. It all looks fantastic, and it’s incredibly comforting that they’re a known entity with a pretty kickass track record of doing good things. I mean, what’s not to love about this move? Chambar + patio? Yes, please! Chambar + breakfast? Absolutely! Chambar + roof? Let’s go!

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

SCOUT LIST | Ten Things That You Should Absolutely Do Between Now And Next Week

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by Michelle Sproule | The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit. The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. You can also check it out in the Globe & Mail, from our calendar to theirs…and yours!

SOME COOL PICS | Vancouver based Photographer Andrew Volk has his first solo show – SOME PICS, Pre-Tinder to Present – opening on Thursday night at The Something Club on Powell Street. Volks work can be gentle and deliberate as well as hard and raw. Get a sense of style via Jeff Hamada’s post on Booooooom. This show only runs until July 23 so don’t stall.
Thu, July 17 | 7-10 pm | The Something Club – 1505 E Powell St | DETAILS

ART | A multi-show exhibition launches at The Burrard Arts Foundation this week.  James Knight and Steffen Quong humanise the concept of Kintsukuroi, a traditional Japanese pottery repair method that sees broken items put back together with molten gold, a process that renders the object more beautiful for having been broken. Instead of pottery, these artists apply the concept to people and communication. Artist Eric Rieger will create a site-specific installation using thousands of meticulously cut, measured and knotted pieces of yarn and Kate Henderson and Erin Siddall will look at issues of gender, technology and art in How To Make Good Movies. The opening reception is this Thursday night. The show continues until September 27th.
Thu, July 17 | 7-10pm | The Burrard Arts Foundation (108 E Broadway) | Free | DETAILS

SHAKESPEARE | Bard On The Beach throws down with performances of The Tempest and Cymbeline this weekend. Arrive early for some time in Bard Village where you can take advantage of the full concession and bar services, poke around the Bard boutique or just chat with other theatre-goers. Shakespeare on a Vancouver beach in July = amazing.
All Weekend | Various times | Vanier Park, Kits Point | $47 | DETAILS

DISCOVER | Whether you are new to the city of just interested in brushing up on local history, an Architectural Institute of British Columbia walking tour is a great way to get to know Vancouver. View the personality of the city through the prism of its landmarks, buildings, structures and streets. Learn about  heritage preservation, contemporary and historic architectural styles, the impact urban planning policy has on the evolution of the city, and more. There are six tours in all, each covering a distinct area of the city. Walks include: Chinatown (From yesterday to Today); Gastown (The Historic Beginning of Vancouver); Strathcona (Vancouver’s First Neighbourhood); Yaletown (Industrial Expansion and Evolution); West End (Residential Transformation), and Downtown (The Business Core of Vancouver). AIBC Walking Tours begin at the AIBC office located at 440 Cambie Street (@Pender) at 10am and 1pm most days of the week (except Monday and Friday afternoons).
Various days | 10am, 1pm | 440 Cambie Street | $10 | DETAILS

NORTH VAN NIGHT MARKET | There’s something decidedly magical about riding the current of a crowd on a summer evening. This weekend we suggest checking out the The North Vancouver Shipyards Twilight Market. While not as large in scale as other markets, this one still attracts enough traffic to leave you feeling like you’ve attended a summer festival of sorts. It’s an easy ride on the seabus from Downtown to Lonsdale Quay. Expect live music and plenty of good food. In addition to a line-up of 15 food trucks, you’ll find countless farmer’s market-style stalls, tables, and booths of fruits and veggies, as well as baked goods, preserves, popsicles and pies. Pro tip: the beer garden goes down on Friday night only.
Thu + Fri | 5-10pm | Shipbuilders’ Square, North Vancouver | DETAILS

VANCOUVER FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL | Folk Fest spreads across Jericho Park this weekend. There’s something quintessentially Vancouver about this three day event. Even if you’re not into folk music, a summer evening at Jericho with music flowing is just flat out awesome. This year we’re looking forward to catching folk legend Joan Baez, Andrew Bird, Vancouver-based Brasstronaut, Folk-rockers Fish and Bird from Victoria, Great Lake Swimmers, Amos Lee, East coast indie crew Wintersleep and Australia’s Frank Yamma. Pack a blanket and relax; outdoor folk music in the (historical) heart of Vancouver hippiedom is an experience you are honour bound to work into your summer plans.
July 19-21 | Jericho Beach | $40 – $170 depending on your commitment | DETAILS

CHILL | Cates Park is a beautiful North Shore waterfront green space is gorgeous, but if it and it’s adjoining beach weren’t enough to get you there, how about the fact that it has free public concerts on Saturdays? Well, that and an on-site Wally Burger concession? Done deal! What could be better than Chuck Wagon burgers, yam fries, chocolate milkshakes, sunshine and live music? This week you can look forward to performances by Deborah Holland (4pm), The Wild Romantics (5pm) and Jodi Pederson (6pm).
Sat, July 19 | 4 – 7 pm | Cates Park 4141 Dollarton Hwy, North Van | Free | DETAILS

COOK | Members of the UBC Farm Maya in Exile Garden are putting on a cooking class this Saturday. In addition to being schooled on how to make a proper corn tortilla, participants in the “Three Sisters in the Kitchen” workshop will learn how to make bledo con frijol (beans with amaranth leaf) and kelite frito con queso envuelto en tortilla (lambs quarters cooked with cheese wrapped in tortillas), among other things. Workshop leaders are well versed, so expect expert cooking advice as well as talk about medicinal and culinary uses for various herbs and vegetables grown right there in the Mayan garden plot at the UBC Farm.
Sat, July. 19 | 2-4pm | UBC Farm (3461 Ross St , UBC) | $30 | DETAILS

EXPLORE | Catch the sunset from Iona Beach Regional Park (just north of the Vancouver International Airport) in Richmond. Iona is a beautiful stretch of sandy shoreline that spreads toward the sea at the mouth of the Fraser River. In addition to walking the beach (when the tide is out it goes on for ever), there’s also a walkable breakwater, raised boardwalks, and a crazy network of unmarked trails. To get there, cross the Arthur Laing Bridge on your way to the airport but turn right at the first traffic light (Grauer Road) and follow the signs.

CHOW | Food Cart Fest is on again this Sunday. A fleet of some 20 food trucks will be parked around communal tables at a site located between Olympic Village and The Cambie Street Bridge. Expect Soho Road, Mom’s Grilled Cheese, Mogu, Roaming Dragon, Yolks, and Tacofino – maybe even The Juice Truck. And the fun doesn’t stop there. There will also be live music, a market, and all manner of ancillary vendors making it the raddest bit of undeveloped real estate in the city for one day of each week
Sun, July 20 | 12-5pm | 215 W 1st Ave, Olympic Village | $2  | DETAILS

Check the Globe & Mail every Thursday for our Special Weekend Edition of the Scout List

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late-may-2009-169Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives in beautiful Strathcona and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy (but faithful) camera.

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HOODS | Kelowna’s Best Food, Chinatown’s Best Drinks, Victoria’s Best Coffee, & More

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You, Scout reader, have good taste. We’ve always known this, but we don’t often take advantage of it. This new feature changes that. From here on in, we want your help in refining our HOODS MAP so that we can keep steering locals and visitors alike to the best of our place in the world. There are five different geo-specific questions that we need answers to this month. We’ve done the initial curatorial leg-work of narrowing down the options to a shortlist, but we need you to finish the job.

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Which East Side brewery has the best tasting room? Is it Brassneck, Bomber, Powell Street, 33 Acres, Parallel 49, or Main Street Beer?

VOTE for your pick (and view results) on our EAST VAN or MAIN STREET pages.

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What’s the best restaurant in Kelowna? Is it RauDZ, Waterfront Wine Bar, The Terrace at Mission Hill, Bouchon’s Bistro, Old Vines at Quails’ Gate, or Sunset Organic Bistro?

VOTE for your pick (and view results) on our OKANAGAN page.

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What’s the most emblematic fixture of Kitsilano? Is it the Planetarium, Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe, Bishop’s, Zulu Records, Jackson’s Meat, or Kits Pool?

VOTE for your pick (and view results)  on our KITSILANO or WEST SIDE pages.

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What’s the best place for a properly made cocktail in Chinatown? Is it The Emerald, Bao Bei, The Parker, The Keefer Bar, The Union, or Mamie Taylor’s?

VOTE for your pick (and view results)  on our CHINATOWN or DTES pages.

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Which cafe serves the best coffee experience in Victoria? Is it Habit, Bean Around The World, Cornerstone Cafe, Discovery Coffee, 2 Percent Jazz, or the Parsonage Cafe?

VOTE for your pick (and view results) on our ISLANDS page.

ZULU REPORT | All Of The Awesome Sounds That You Should Be Listening To This Month

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by Nic Bragg | From Kitsilano’s Zulu Records, we once again present our monthly Scout feature, the Zulu Report. Within, you’ll find The Track – the song on heavy rotation in the shop this week; The Playlist – our selection of videos; The Gig – the “must-see show”; and The Glance – which details the best gigs on the immediate horizon. From our ears to yours, enjoy… Read more

YOU SHOULD KNOW | What It’s Like Inside The Dome Of Vancouver’s Iconic Sun Tower

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by Stevie Wilson & Andrew Morrison | The Sun Tower at the corner of West Pender and Beatty Streets is one of Vancouver’s most recognizable landmarks, particularly due to its eye-catching, mint-coloured dome that’s visible from nearly everywhere in the city. However, despite the building’s iconic status (and its magnetic tourist’s photography), it’s not too often that hear from anyone who’s actually been inside the dome or, better still, atop the cupola, so we decided to take a look.

Keep in mind that it wasn’t easy. The dome is impossible to gain access to if you don’t have the building managers on your side. It took plenty of correspondence and explanation of benign intent on Scout’s part to convince the keymasters that we were there by virtue of sincere curiosity and true affection for the building’s architecture and history. In the end, our foot in the door came last month when Scout was invited to a Vancouver Heritage Foundation event. One thing (begging) led to another (pleading), and eventually a tour was arranged in good humour, for which we will remain eternally grateful. Take a look…

To gain access to the dome, one most first get to the 17th floor, up a winding staircase made of marble and through a locked door. The interior is a bit of a shock at first. There are no frescoes, sculptured metopes or decorative flourishes of any kind at all, which is a truth that came rudely, really, as one half expects the gorgeous thing to be filled to the knees with treasure. But it’s completely bare and unadorned save for spidery support beams in yellow painted steel that have been bolted above a noisy blue machine that operates the building’s elevators. It was all very industrial, which is to say a little deflating of the imagination.

And yet it clearly wasn’t without beauty. The dome is lit by a ring of oculi (the fancy name for circular windows). These look over the city from the cardinal points, and gazing out of them was a real trip. Though the buildings that surround it are mostly new (especially to the west and south), the windows – recessed and antique as they are – soften their glaring modernity like a Hipstamatic filter. But the real view is up even higher. A sketchy, steel-framed platform leads to a ladder that rises to a trap door in the ceiling. Once unbolted, this leads to the cupola, or the open-air nipple that stands erect at the dome’s apex. Here, the building’s big fib is revealed. The green-tinge on the dome’s exterior isn’t real. It’s a faux patina design that’s been painted to mimic oxidized copper. Alas, the view – so raw and exposed – more than makes up for it.

The history of the Beaux-Arts building is readily found and filled with fantastic details, but here’s a brief run-down: Noted Canadian architect William Tuff Whiteway (of Woodwards fame) was commissioned to design the structure in 1911-12 by the now-infamous Vancouver mayor L.D. Taylor. It began as the offices for Taylor’s newspaper company, The Vancouver World, before the publication folded and the building was passed to Bekin’s, the Seattle-based storage and moving company. At the time of its completion, the building was recognized as the tallest (commercial) structure in the British Empire – a distinction that previously belonged to the nearby Dominion Building. In 1937, the Vancouver Sun took over the building, renamed it, installed a massive red neon sign across the top, and continued operations until 1965 when it relocated to 2250 Granville Street.

Unlike the exterior of the tower – which still features Charles Marega’s controversial “nine maidens” perched at the 8th floor, bare breasts and all – the interior has changed much over the years. In 2011 it was redeveloped by Allied Properties as creative spaces, though several historic features are still on display on the top floors, including tile work, marble staircases, single-paned fenestration, radiators, and beautiful door handles. Inside and out, there’s no other building like it. Take a look…

MORE VANCOUVER HISTORY

SEEN IN VANCOUVER #486 | Inside The Fox Cabaret (On Track To Open Next Weekend)

February 21, 2014 

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by Andrew Morrison | Danny Fazio and Thomas Anselmi of Arrival Agency invited me to take a look at how things were going at The Fox Cabaret yesterday. The space has come a long way since the mess left behind by the building’s previous long-term tenant, The Fox Cinema. The Fox, of course, was an old school porn theatre, and well documented as a grossed-out, fap-fest house of carnal horrors. Though it was an institution of sorts and very much part of the Main streetscape, screening 35mm adult films throughout the 1980′s and 1990′s, and well beyond 2003 when it switched over to DVD format. You can click here to learn more about the theatre and its 2010 end while empathetically lamenting the loss for commuting masturbators from across the Lower Mainland, but I don’t think it has been missed by that many people in the neighbourhood.

So what is The Fox Cabaret? I think we’re supposed to think of it as another “cultural compound”, the second coming of The Waldorf, which was sacrificed to false real estate idols last year. It’ll be operated by the same crew as before – led by Arrival founders Thomas Anselmi and Ernesto Gomez with partners Rachel Zottenberg and David Duprey (see also The Emerald, Rickshaw, The Narrow) – so I trust that we can expect similar programming as before. If you require a refresher, these guys arranged for The Cheaper Show, the East Side Culture Crawl, the New Forms Festival, the Polaris Music Prize, the Presentation House Gallery, the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Vancouver International Film Festival to hold events at The Waldorf, and for Black Mountain, Japandroids, Douglas Coupland, Rodney Graham, Grimes, Michael Turner, and Paul Wong to headline evenings as well. In addition to the great gigs and events that I feel confident in anticipating, I know that Music On Main will be doing some of the programming, and that comedy group The Sunday Service is set to become an entertaining fixture. Diversity for the win.

Clearly, Mount Pleasant’s cultural landscape is about to get a big shot in the arm. When The Fox opens, it will offer a cavernous space (with all the theatre seats gone) for 190 people. An upper balcony will have room for another 25 or so, and then an upstairs bar will seat another 50 when it opens later – possibly as soon as April – in what used to be the theatre’s old projector room (check out the disco ball, plucked from the destruction of Richards On Richards). The bar operations are going to be the province of Kevin Brownlee, who also works the wood at South Granville’s storied West Restaurant. The hours will be in the evenings until midnight on weekdays and 1am on weekends, with those being extended to 1am and 2am respectively after six months. There will be a food component, but it will basic – snacks only.

The Fox Cabaret is on track to open for its first events next weekend. Get your sneak peek below…

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER