West Van’s dining landscape just got a little weaker. Fraîche Restaurant, which was named one of Canada’s Top Ten Best New Restaurants of 2008 by enRoute magazine, permanently closed after its New Year’s Eve dinner service. It’s a pity that a fine dining eatery of this calibre (one of just a handful remaining in this increasingly casual city) couldn’t crack the code of one of the country’s wealthiest neighbourhoods. Perhaps this is just further evidence of the West Coast’s lack of enthusiasm for the fancy/expensive/formal milieu. In any event, here’s hoping chef Nicholas Lim, manager Paul Garbini, and the rest of the staff land on their feet.
Aristocratic | A family-oriented chain of diners that would become locally famous for its “courteous service, quality food, all over town” and wonderful neon sign with the character ‘Risty’ in a top hat and monocle. The sign was lost but an homage to it was placed in the window of Chapters Bookstore at Granville and Robson, where the fabled restaurant once operated.
Usage | ”We went to the White Spot on Cambie and my grand-ma wouldn’t shut up about how it used to be some place called The Aristocratic.”
by Andrew Morrison | Fray – a casual, irreverent, very popular restaurant serving crave-worthy chow at 3980 Fraser Street – has shuttered after just a year and a half in business. The announcement came on Twitter late last night…
It is with regret that we have to announce, due to a partnership dispute, that Fray has closed its doors. The… fb.me/HpPJFqrV
— Fray on Fraser (@FrayOnFraser) March 17, 2013
The link in the tweet is dead, but a message on their website (below) tells a side of the story, which makes it sound like the whole thing is in Lawyerville limbo, which is never fun…
The place was full, profitable, and much loved by Fraser Street, but unfortunately a minority shareholder recently signed a contract to sell the business, against the instructions of the majority of investors. Now we’re in a situation where we either have to sell at a loss or face a lawsuit from the buyer, who wishes to close it and turn it into a vegan restaurant, if we don’t.
Given the circumstances, today we made the brutally hard decision to close the doors of a packed restaurant and let the lawyers do their thing. We can only apologize to those people who had bookings and come out every week for trivia and now have nowhere to feed their kids in the hood. We’ve fought beyond hard, but sometimes you’ve got to push back from the table and start afresh.
We’ll miss you, Fraser Street. But we won’t be gone for long.
Let’s hope not. But as one reader noted already in an email to Scout, “a ‘minority shareholder’ can’t make a legal contract to sell the business – a majority has to sign. So there’s something else going on.” Whatever it is, it’ll be good when it’s sorted, because pulled pork eggs benedict.
The natural consequence of a dozen really good pizzerias opening in Vancouver within a couple of years of each other? Some of the old (and especially the shitty) ones whither and die. Exhibit C: Hell’s Kitchen pizzeria at 2401 West 4th Ave has “closed its doors permanently”. This happened a few days ago, apparently to the financial dismay of many (image found via Reddit).
UPDATE: A few people have commented below or contacted me directly to say that all is not as it seems with this note, specifically that it was written by the landlord. What’s more, several letters of support from staff/suppliers that were taped over the note have reportedly been taken down. So take it with a grain of salt.