The People Who Make It Happen
Owner: Gareth Lukes
Operations Manager: Laura Cummings
About Lukes General Store
Lukes General Store was started as a pop-up shop branch of the family owned and operated Lukes Drug Mart which has been based in the community of Bridgeland, Calgary since 1951. Owner Garath Lukes has been committed to continuing his family’s legacy of bringing quality service and products to surrounding communities and the Vancouver location is no exception.
Located within Vancouver’s historic Chinatown, Lukes joined with Space Lab antiques to create a collaborative shop that integrates the new and used. Lukes General Store includes apothecary items by New York’s Malin & Goetz and Maine’s Portland General Store, goods from Juniper Ridge, chocolates from Brooklyn-based Mast Brothers and coffee from Portland’s best, Stumptown Coffee Roasters. The Chinatown location features a custom made coffee cart designed and fabricated by Los Angeles based Barista Capsules, and inset with the La Marzocco Strada MP, operated by baristas that have been trained by Stumptown’s very own. In addition to the shop location in Chinatown, Lukes General Store offers the same level of service and products online at LukesGeneralStore.com.
Chinatown, a commercial (and increasingly residential) neighbourhood within the Downtown Eastside, has been one of Vancouver’s most vibrant areas since the City’s beginnings. It got its start as a ghetto on the edge of the Granville Townsite in the late 1880′s, when scores of Chinese immigrants arrived to work BC’s mines and build its railroads. The institutional racism of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1923 and the anti-animated neon signage laws of 1974 did little to curb its vibrancy, and today it is home to an eclectic mix of traditional and trendy eateries, markets (both day and night), gardens, temples, and a wide assortment of businesses ranging from tea shops and apothecaries to art galleries and vintage stores. Its borders are squared roughly by Abbott/Taylor (west), Gore (east), Pender (north), and Keefer/East Georgia (south). The 200 block of Union St. (between Main and Gore) is technically part of Chinatown, but we count the section east of its alleyway as a part of Strathcona.
Blue/Orange facades of Ho Sun Hing Printers & Fresh Egg Mart on East Georgia; the leafiness of Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Gardens; omnipresent decorative red and gold; freshly horked old man loogie; marinated eggplant with soy, garlic, and ginger at Bao Bei; stinky summer fish gut puddle; dead alleyway pigeon tri-colour; dried tokay gecko on a stick.
DEAD LIZARDS FOR YOUR PENIS*
$8.99 (AND CHEAPER) HAIRCUTS
EXCELLENT PARADES WITH BAGPIPES & DRAGONS
THE RENNIE COLLECTION AT WING SANG
A LITTLE QUIET SOLITUDE AT DR. SUN-YAT SEN GARDEN
OUT OF THE ORDINARY ANTIQUES
THE OCCASIONAL RAT
PRESENTS FOR YOUR MOM
GAMES OF POOL AT THE LONDON PUB
THE VIEW FROM THE TOP OF THE KEEFER PARKADE
AN UNSUSTAINABLE AMOUNT OF MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES
SWEET VINTAGE AT DUCHESSE
THE NICE GUYS AT THE SHOP
THE PLAZA SKATEPARK
SUPPLIES FOR LIQUOR LOVERS
A WHOLE LOTTA PIGEONS
LEATHER BAGS AT ERIN TEMPLETON
THE JIMI HENDRIX SHRINE
* the dried lizards (tokay geckos) are a traditional Chinese medicine for impotence, tuberculosis, and asthma.
MARINATED EGGPLANT (OR PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING) AT BAO BEI
APOTHECARY COCKTAILS AT THE KEEFER BAR
LATE NIGHT FRIED RICE AT GAIN WAH
ICE CREAM SANDWICHES FROM SCENT OF A SANDWICH
BBQ DUCK AT MONEY FOODS
COFFEE & CINNAMON TOAST AT MATCHSTICK
APPLE PIE FROM THE PIE SHOPPE
CHICKEN WINGS & GARLIC PRAWNS AT PHNOM PENH
THE BURGER AT MAMIE TAYLOR’S
PORK BUNS AT NEW TOWN BAKERY
SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM FROM PRIME TIME CHICKEN
POTATO TORNADOES AT THE NIGHT MARKET
PORK THURINGER CURRYWURST AT BESTIE
- The oldest standing structure in Chinatown is the Wing Sang Building on Pender, built in 1889 by Chinatown pioneer Yip Sang.
- Market Alley, spanning from Main Street and Carrall between Hastings and Pender, was a turn-of-the-century hotspot for opium production, gambling, and after-hours debauchery.
- Dr. Sun Yet-Sen Classical Chinese Garden was the first of its kind to be constructed outside of China.
- Vancouver’s Chinatown is the largest in Canada and one of the largest in North America.
- A city ordinance was passed in 1937 that prohibited Chinese-owned restaurants from employing white women. In 1939, city council amended the law to permit white waitresses in Chinatown restaurants that served “English meals to English customers”.
by Andrew Morrison with photos by Luis Valdizon | The iconic Luke’s Drug Mart in Calgary is set to open its pop-up Lukes General Store within the always curious confines of Chinatown’s charming Space Lab (126 E Pender St) tomorrow. The pop-up comes complete with a Stumptown Coffee and products from Malin + Goetz, Baxter of California, Juniper Ridge, Mast Brothers, and more. It’s essentially a miniature version of what Luke’s does in Calgary, minus all the drugs.
And honestly, they couldn’t have chosen a better spot for it than Space Lab. Filled with character vintage items that are often as odd as they are rare and beautiful, it’s one of our favourite shops in town. Add the smell of coffee and the taste of chocolate to it and it starts to border on the irresistible.
For the grand opening, which opens to the public at 8pm and runs until 11pm tomorrow, Johnny De Courcy and The Death Rangers will be playing a live set and Trevor Risk (Ice Cream Social/Come Friday) will be on hand to spin vinyl indie pop until he’s told to stop. Attendees can also expect beer from 33 Acres to balance out the free flow of quality coffee pulled by expert baristas. Good times and weird finds!
You should know about this opening that’s going down at Catalog Gallery this Saturday at 7:00pm…
“Sophia Ahamed is a Graphic Designer and Visual Artist living in Vancouver BC Canada. She is a young creative who has worked internationally on a wide rage of projects and has had her work featured in various publications such as Color Magazine, Semi-Permanent and Design is Kinky just to name a few. Her illustrative work is a balance between hand drawn, digital renditions which creates beautiful contrasts of colour and depth through out each piece.
Her current collection of illustrative works demonstrates a valuable connection between the conscious and unconscious mind. No matter who we are or what we are, we as human beings are built the same. We have all gone through moments of happiness, of loss, of despair and of triumph. It is said that what we truly desire in life in happiness. But only through pain can we begin to understand what happiness really is and allow our selves to feel it without hesitation.
Science has given us the ability to understand our own minds and bodies. Art has given us the ability to communicate these findings with others. The goal is to create a different kind of healing process, one that stems from the artist and to the viewer.”
Catalog Gallery is on the 2nd floor of Tinseltown Mall. In addition to Ahamed’s work, you can expect music, beer and fun times.
The GOODS from The Modern Bartender
The Modern Bartender is excited to announce it’s next evening event. On Thursday, February 27th, we will bring you “Exotic Ports O’ Call – History of the Tiki Cocktail”. We’ll be doing up several samples of vintage, nearly impossible-to-find recipes such as the original “Cobras Fang” and regaling all with some of the fascinating history like who really invented the “Mai Tai”. In addition, ticket holders will get first dibs on our inaugural 50% off table which is full of treasures and deals like you won’t believe. This evening will run from 7pm to 9pm. It’s $20 a head with a maximum of 25 seats. Get your tickets through the Eventbrite here. Learn more about The Modern Bartender after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Bestie
Vancouver, BC | We’re excited to announce a special event featuring beer from a very interesting and important German microbrewery. The Freigeist Tap Takeover will be held at Bestie on Wednesday February 12 starting at 6pm. Freigeist is the experimental offshoot of Cologne’s revolutionary small brewery, Braustelle, which strives to break the chains of industrial brewing by reviving and updating Germany’s unique, historical beer styles.
For the first time ever in Canada, (and for one night only!) we’ll be pouring three different Freigeist taps. The Bestie kitchen will be serving up brand new food and dessert specials designed to pair beautifully with the beers. Adam Henderson of Copper & Theory, the agency responsible for bringing Freigeist to BC, will be in attendance pouring steins, talking beer, and generally being handsome. Don’t miss this chance to raise a glass of these extremely rare German microbrews!
No tickets required. The event is open to everyone 19+ but seating is limited. First come, first served. Good times and great beer guaranteed! Read more
The GOODS from The Chinatown Experiment
Vancouver, BC | January was a fantastic month! Blumin Warehouse, Sincerely Slow, and our pop-up workshops were huge successes thanks to your support, Vancouver. February provides opportunities to hide from the winter doldrums and experience some of Vancouver’s finest emerging artists. From a Ben Barber solo exhibition and an art + design show to a Spanish inspired tapas gallery cafe, there’s plenty popping up on Columbia St. this month. Take a look after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Bao Bei
Vancouver, BC | Feeling lucky? If not, Bao Bei is here to stuff your face with tasty morsels that bring long life, strength, prosperity, happiness and, of course, good luck between Jan. 22nd and Feb. 1st. Maybe you don’t believe in that kinda thing but it certainly doesn’t hurt to treat your mouth to the delicious foods of good fortune and get your Chinese New Year started off on the right hoof (ha!).
The night is first come first serve, although the family table is available for 2 seatings each night for groups of 8 – 12. The Special Chinese New Year Menu costs $35 per person. The regular menu will also be available. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Matchstick Coffee Roasters
Vancouver, BC | Opening day for our second location at 213 East Georgia Street is only a few weeks away and we’re looking for people who are interested in joining our team! We’re looking for cafe, bakery, and roastery employees for both the Georgia and Fraser locations. If you are passionate about excellent coffee, great food, and treating people well, please bring a résumé in to our Fraser location and ask for Courtney or Alex. We look forward to meeting you! Learn more about the company after the jump… Read more
by Andrew Morrison | Andrew Wong officially announced this morning that he will soon finish up at the original downtown location of Wild Rice. The trailblazing restaurateur opened the socially and environmentally conscious “Modern Chinese” eatery at 117 West Pender St. off Abbott St. back in 2001, serving ethically sourced cuisine informed by his heritage and pairing it with local wines and original cocktails. The spirit of the restaurant (a founding member of Ocean Wise and Green Table) will, of course, continue to live on at its new location in New Westminster’s increasingly awesome River Market. The restaurant officially closes its doors on January 31st.
With Wong’s announcement out of the way, we can now tell you that he accepted an offer from restaurateurs Andrey Durbach and Chris Stewart (see The Sardine Can, La Buca, Pied-A-Terre) before Christmas. The well respected pair take possession on February 1st and are joined in ownership this time around by Michel Durocher, who has been part of the company since long before he started managing The Sardine Can (back to the old Parkside days).
Together, they hope to transform the 2,500 sqft space into a cheffish gastropub/tavern of serious sway. We can expect a darker, woodier, warmer aesthetic, which is to say that it it won’t look remotely the same as Wild Rice when it open this Spring (they’re crossing their fingers for April/May). “It’s a complete overhaul,” says Stewart. The only thing that they’re keeping is the length of the bar. When I asked Durbach for points of conceptual reference, he mentioned the Dominion and Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal and The Spotted Pig and Minetta Tavern in New York. Think 90 food primary seats and a menu of classics that have been amplified by good ingredients and furrowed brows of creativity. Though nothing about the place is really set in stone just yet, Durbach likes the idea of spinning high quality fish and chips, chicken karaage, an assortment of salads, perfect Côte de Boeuf (inspired the mainstay at the recently closed Boneta), toulouse bangers with whipped potatoes and craft beef-infused onion gravy, and so on. Durbach also says that he’d like to try and make the best burger in town, so you know…fancy, but not too fancy.
With the new Chambar re-opening in their new location just up the street at the same time and rumours of new eateries slated for the old Chambar location and the soon to move Medina next door, this looks like a solid pick-up from Durbach et al. Crosstown, it seems, is going to have a little renaissance (again).
They don’t have a name for the restaurant just yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as it’s set and update our readers as things progress because this is one to keep an eye on. In the meantime, there’s still time to pay your respects to Wild Rice and sneak in another delicious bowl of Rossdown chicken Kung Po.
The GOODS from The Chinatown Experiment
Vancouver, BC | Happy New Year! 2014 promises to be an exciting year full of pop up shops, experiments and art exhibits! Our focus this year is to continue to strengthen Vancouver’s creative community by providing accessible space and support at our storefront in Chinatown and around the city. We are pleased to announce our unique and eclectic calendar for January…
January 14 – 18 | Sincerely Slow
The Sincerely Slow event “Dear Wanderer, slow down to see the beauty” asks that we consider pace of life so that we enjoy life’s precious details.
January 24 – 26 | Blumin Pop Up Shop
Blumin Warehouse is a coworking space for writers. This dedicated writers’ centre will act as a community to provide members with the synergy and support needed to refine their work. Blumin will offer semi-private, customizable space for members, with WiFi, fresh coffee, printing and photocopy facilities 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
January 28 | From Craft Market to Pop Up Shop: The How, what, where and why?
Free information session for those looking to host their own pop up shop in 2014. **SOLD OUT: We are at capacity for this workshop, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the waitlist or hear about future workshops.**
January 30 – February 4 | Very Rare: A solo exhibition by Ben Barber
Comprised of paintings, sculptures and other media; VERY RARE displays works that explore the means of which culture becomes fetish, and products turn to icons. Using well known objects from daily life countered with artmotif’s,the viewer is givena view into a world that is uncomfortable yet seemingly familiar.
If you are an entrepreneur or artist looking to get in front of a new audience, we want to hear from you! Contact us today at email@example.com.
The GOODS from The Parker
Vancouver, BC | The Parker is proud to deliver Chef Curtis Luk’s new Dégustation Menu as a permanent menu feature. We’re very excited to start 2014 off on the right foot by delivering outstanding value for all our guests with 5 courses shared for 2 or 4 people for only $29 each.
Much has been made over the healthy lifestyle that vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dining can offer, and we’re thrilled to help lessen the wallop on the wallet. Each dinner is unique and designed toward each diner’s specifications. We love wowing our vegan and gluten-free clients with our beautiful plating.
The Parker is also looking forward to introducing some new wines from the old world in 2014 as it continues to discover the best of BC and beyond. Wine lovers can expect small lot selections and unique pairings from Steve Da Cruz as well as an ever-growing prowess on the wood from Nich Box.
The GOODS from The Chinatown Experiment
Vancouver, BC | Are you ready to take the next step? After the busy holiday market season you may be wondering what’s next for your small business. If Craft markets are a great starting place and can help get the ball rolling, a Pop-Up Shop is an opportunity to build on the experience for your customers and distinguish yourself from the crowd. It is easier than you may think! On January 28th from 6pm to 7pm, we will be providing answers to questions like What is a pop-up shop? while providing answers about the benefits and giving examples of businesses that successfully went from craft market to pop-up shop a special free workshop. If you are ready to take the next step and think a pop-up shop could be right for you, this event (and the Q&A that follows) will give you the knowledge you need to move forward. Secure your spot here!