Its the brainchild of Fadi Eid, who has been working on the project since April with designer Adrienne Kavanagh. Eid comes to Vancouver from Lebanon by way of Abu Dhabi. The hospitality management grad has been working in the trade since his teens, having gotten his start toiling in his uncle’s bakery (of late he’s been working front of house for the Fairmont).
The restaurant’s communal, casual concept will see home-style Lebanese food served in sharable “mezze” fashion (eg. falafel, labneh, mjadra, makanik), with equal focus paid to flat breads (“saj”), traditional stews, and a variety of flavoured humus and dips (eg. beet, avocado-cilantro, etc.). The latter will also be sold in branded jars that customers can re-use by bringing them back for refills at a discounted price. The restaurant’s flat bread, flavoured olive oilsm and spices will also be retailed. You can read a draft of the menu here. Lunch will change daily, but the dinner card will be more or less fixed.
To pair with the food, the short bar will be serving local beer and wine, as well as cocktails employing Mediterranean herbs and Levantine spices.
I’ve included Kavanagh’s design renderings with the image set below. The models make it look super clean and modern, but she’s found some cool pieces at Scott Landon Antiques to give the 32 seat space some character, and you never know what an open kitchen can do to the feel of a place when it pumps out the intoxicating aromas of exotic spices and freshly baked breads.
Opening day at Jamjar (2280 Commercial Drive) is set for the end of September.
by Chuck Hallett & Andrew Morrison | There’s a reason breweries are located in industrial districts. Brewing beer is, at its heart, a result of light industry. It’s a chemical manufacturing process what converts a standard set of input ingredients (barley, hops, yeast and water) into an end product. It differs from producing wood pulp only slightly, and most of that is because the end product is that magical elixir we call beer.
Smaller breweries often play down the technical aspects of beer production simply because they can. Polished concrete countertops and wood-panelled tasting rooms are sexier than the industrial patchwork of tanks, pipes and coolant they conceal.
Once you bust past a certain size, though, the process of actually making beer takes centre stage, as well it should. This is the case with Mount Pleasant’s newest craft brewery: Red Truck. The company has expanded out of their 3,600 hectolitre micro-brewery on the North Shore and into a 40,000sf, 25,000hl facility directly on the spot where the old Brewery Creek emptied into the now-filled False Creek Flats. The added capacity is already allowing them to crank out a steady stream of packaged lager, IPA and pale ale, along with (soon) the odd limited bomber release of something more interesting.
This is a cavernous warehouse of a brewery, with a forest of gleaming 2 storey tall fermenters dotting the snazzily tiled floor. Piping interconnects and steel cat walks criss cross left and right, and a control station on a 2nd floor outcrop monitors the whole operation like it’s some sort of fermentation DJ booth.
Capping off the whole operation is a fully restored vintage red delivery truck, which is suspended from cables above the heads of the workers below. Waxing and washing it is a task that will presumably fall to the interns.
Still to come on the sunny south-side of the building is a retail kiosk and growler station, plus the highly anticipated 70 seat old school Red Truck Stop diner, which will serve burgers, hot dogs, wings, liquor and plenty of booze in addition to beer. Bonus: a sun-drenched 40 sat patio — a feature not allowed under the more popular Brewery Lounge license.
The numbers above might seem huge but in reality they really aren’t. The 60hl brewhouse is the next logical step for a growing craft brewery, and a 25,000hl/year production target doesn’t even crack the top five list for BC. For comparison, Deschutes Brewing in Oregon’s annual production is just about 750,000hl, proving it is possible to make delicious beer in large quantities.
As mentioned up top and made evident in the images below, the brewery is already making beer. They’ve had their state of the art bottling and packaging line whirring, plus the machine that goes bing has gone bing. There’s not that much left on site to do save for cladding the building’s exterior, finishing/furnishing some of the offices and conference rooms (installing AV, etc), and giving the whole thing a good once over with a broom and a hose.
It’s more complicated than that, of course, but you get the point. They’re close. Hours aren’t yet set in stone, but 10am to 10pm might be right. We’re crossing our fingers for it to be part of our lives by Christmas or New Years.
* Correction: the draft published yesterday stated that Red Truck was owned by the Mark James Group. This was incorrect and we apologise for the error.
The GOODS from Pallet Coffee Roasters
Vancouver, BC | We’ve had plenty of requests about expanding our hours and so we are happy to say that as of September 2nd we’re going to make it happen. We will be expanding our weekday hours to 8am to 5pm, and on weekends – both Saturday and Sunday – from 9am to 5pm. We’re looking forward to serving you. Learn more about Pallet after the jump… Read more
by Andrew Morrison | Good news, taco lovers. Los Cuervos Taqueria is set to expand into the old Che Baba yoga studio space next door. The Fraserhood eatery has been in possession of the umbilically-attached 600 sqft address since it opened last year, but it had to jump through several laborious permit hoops to get this green light. The expansion will effectively double Los Cuervos’ seating capacity to 50. The design toes the line of the original, but it does have some unique flourishes, such as a new bar and light fixtures made out of cedar reclaimed from an old shed that they dismantled at the back of the property. As far as offerings are concerned, barman Mark Gunther (Biltmore, Minami) is being brought on board to amplify the drinks card (more agave-centric cocktails), while the menu, I hope/imagine, will remain loaded with all manner of out of the ordinary taco creations. The launch is set for mid-September (fingers crossed). Take a look…
The GOODS from The Biltmore Cabaret
Vancouver, BC | The Biltmore Cabaret presents a special summer double bill on Thursday, August 14th. In the sweetest deal of the summer, you are invited to enjoy Bry Webb (of the Constantines) for a special ‘Pay What You Can’ early show, with guests Olenka & the Autumn Lovers (Webb is on tour in support of his highly lauded new album, ‘Free Will’). Doors 7pm. RSVP on Facebook here. And then at 9:30pm, get set for the Tribute to the Ramones Pizza Part in celebration of the life and times of Tommy Ramone (RIP) and the entire Ramones crew. The Ramores, Slow Learners and Desolation Sound will play, and it just wouldn’t be a Ramones’ party without pizza. Come early to chow down on some choice slices. RSVP on Facebook here. Playbill/details after the jump. Read more
Head to the Rio Theatre on August 21st to take in the Vancouver premiere of A Film About Coffee, the new documentary that is being celebrated by coffee wonks the world over. Bonus: 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters will have a crew on hand dispensing unique heirloom varieties of coffee. Via our friends at the Rio: “The movie has been selling out screenings this summer around the world, from Portland to NYC to that place called New Zealand, so we’re stoked to bring it to Vancouver.” Doors open at 7pm and the movie starts at 8pm. Tickets and details after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Odd Society Spirits
Vancouver, BC | Odd Society Spirits, makers of the award-winning East Van Vodka and Wallflower Gin, is looking for an enthusiastic lead bartender to join their team at the distillery’s cocktail lounge. The lounge offers high quality, well executed cocktails showcasing spirits distilled in-house. A strong background in bartending, cocktail creation, plus a passion to provide exceptional customer service while proudly representing the Odd Society brand is a must! Duties include educating and selling Odd Society products to the public, as well as liaising with the local bartending community. Get the details and learn more about the company after the jump… Read more
by Ken Tsui | Mr. Red Cafe has only been open in Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood for a few months now but it’s already being praised as a rare taste of what Northern Vietnamese cuisine has to offer. It starts with Pandan jasmine tea, which is served unsolicited as soon as diners sit, giving them a soothing first sip of the eatery’s approach to hospitality. It continues with dishes like xoi xeo ga (sticky rice with chicken pate) and their banh mi pate, a vietnamese sub loaded with meatloaf, cucumber, carrot and a healthy spread of chicken pate topped with crispy shallot.
The pho is also a great standby. They trade the flavour crutches like sugar and MSG for time, heat, and bones, and for a little extra zip to the broth, they replace the archetypal southern Vietnamese squeeze bottle of hoisin for an addictive rice vinegar steeped with chilies and garlic – a traditional northern Vietnamese condiment.
Rose, the incredibly sweet owner, works out front in the unassuming dining room. She loves to talk about the food her husband Hong cooks in the kitchen. The pair keep themselves busy by making everything in-house to ensure quality. From the chicken pate to the three different stocks they craft from scratch daily, they pride themselves in being purists who deliver the same authentic flavours found in the food stalls of Hanoi. It all combines for a place that always makes you feel welcome with honest cooking and genuine service from hands-on owners who are passionate about sharing their cultural roots through food. If you’d never heard of it until now, pay them a visit and enjoy.
Mr. Red Cafe | 2234 E. Hastings St. | Vancouver, BC | 604-710-9515 | No Website
The GOODS from La Mezcaleria
Vancouver, BC | La Mezcaleria on The Drive is open every Friday and Saturday night until 2AM offering their cocktail list, appetizers and a full taco menu. A variety of meat, vegetarian, and vegan tacos can be enjoyed while listening to local DJs spinning great vibes. The new summer cocktail list includes new favourites like the Lavender Pisco Sour and classics like freshly squeezed lime margaritas. New additions at the bar also include local craft beer from 33 Acres, Parallel 49, Four Winds and Merridale Cider and now features carefully selected handful of wines by the glass. Take a look at the musical line-up after the jump… Read more
by Ken Tsui | Before chefs Shelome Bouvette and Allison Flook kick-off another fully booked dinner service at Mount Pleasant’s Peruvian-inspired Chicha eatery, they step aside to make way for general manager Kumiko Umeno, who will be putting together the night’s staff meal with her mom, Sayuri, as back-up. Together, they’re making mizutake and freshly folded gyozas for the team.
Mizutake is a Japanese chicken noodle soup – a comforting classic and exactly what the team needs before a busy night. As the chicken gently simmers in a traditional dashi stock, Kumiko and Sayuri fold gyozas with Shelome, who jumps in to help. Everyone has a good laugh when the chef’s first few dumplings look more like pierogis than gyozas, but with a bit of coaching from Sayuri, Bouvette quickly gets the hang of it.
When the chicken is almost ready, Kumiko drops enoki, tofu, cabbage and daikon into the bubbling broth and gives it all a stir. As the soup comes back up to a simmer, Kumiko adds udon while Sayuri pan fries the fresh gyoza. As the udon and first batch of gyoza finish cooking, Kumiko mounds shaved daikon into each bowl, flavouring it with soy, yuzu and spicy togarashi before ladling the restorative soup over it all.
Kumiko brings it all out to the hungry crew, who patiently wait in the dining room. The gyozas are scooped up quickly but Sayuri has the motherly foresight to pack some away, “the crew is going to need a late night snack after service,” she says while closing the lid of the box with a smile.
The GOODS from Odd Society Spirits
Vancouver, BC | It’s the quiet ones that often take you by surprise. Shy and demure while awaiting the opportune moment for its official debut, Wallflower Gin by Odd Society Spirits is now the belle of the ball and is available on shelves at many of Vancouver’s finest cocktail bars and private liquor stores.
Almost all of the world’s gin is made with a neutral grain spirit, but distillers Gordon Glanz and Joshua Beach wanted to create a stand-alone gin crafted from the grain up. Wallflower Gin is made from 100% British Columbia grown barley and a distinctive combination of west coast and international botanicals. It is distilled in small batches in a unique copper-pot still that combines two great gin-making traditions: maceration and vapour extraction. The result is a balanced spirit that is luscious and aromatic yet light and refreshing.
“Because we make our gin from scratch, we have a greater understanding of each ingredient,” says distiller Joshua Beach. “Making this gin took a great amount of research, patience and care as we wanted to distinguish the delicate nuances of each floral component.”
With intense notes of rose, elderflower and lavender as well as subtle undertones of cranberry, juniper and orange peel, Wallflower Gin can be sipped straight or enjoyed in an impeccably crafted cocktail. Both gin aficionados and novices alike can start experimenting with their own 750ml bottle of Odd Society Spirits Wallflower Gin available at Odd Society Spirits’ distillery and cocktail lounge, and select Vancouver private liquor stores, restaurants, bars and farmers markets. Recipe for Odd Society Spirits BC Bramble after the jump… Read more
We’ve invited the soon-to-open Pallet Coffee Roasters on Semlin Drive (at East Hastings) to join the Coffee section of our GOODS program as a recommended place to source a cup of the dark stuff. Scout previewed the space just last month, so click here for some background. They are now proud members of Scout, and as such we will be sharing their news and employment needs on our front page in addition to hosting a page for them in our archive of local and independent goodness. We thank them for their support and for making Hastings-Sunrise a more caffeinated place to be.
The Key People
Shane D., Operations Man.
Sharif S., Roaster & QA
Mentions & Excerpts
About Pallet Coffee Roasters
At Pallet Coffee Roasters quality, traceability, & transparency always come first. We source in season coffees from only exceptional producers to show that everyone can get a nice cup.
To create anything delicious, the most important part is starting with simply good ingredients, and coffee is no different. Before we add a new coffee to our offering, each potential coffee has to meet our own benchmarks through multiple cupping & tasting sessions in regards to flavour, sweetness, and most importantly cleanliness. Coffees that are not specialty grade are out of the question.
We like to roast each coffee as delicately as possible to their sweetest level, taking into consideration their origin and terroir, the varietal, and processing style. The result unlocks true flavours, rather than flavours imparted by the roasting process. Coffee from different regions and origin have specific flavour characteristics of their own and we want to show these coffees in their best form.
Our roastery & coffee shop is tucked in the quaint East Village area in East Vancouver, on Semlin drive, bordering the diverse industrial & residential area. Mainly a production space, the coffee shop & tasting room lets us showcase our current offering, and at the same time visitors can see our roaster in action and the overall coffee roasting process.
The GOODS from Odd Society Spirits
Vancouver, BC | Odd Society Spirits is thrilled to announce that cocktail veteran Matt Cooke has joined the team as full-time Brand Ambassador and Bar Manager. With over a decade of cocktail experience, Cooke contributes experience, knowledge and creativity to the distillery’s cocktail lounge and brand.
“Matt Cooke is a welcome addition to the Odd Society team,” says Proprietor and General Manager, Miriam Karp. “He brings with him passion, drive and a wealth of knowledge about Vancouver cocktail culture.”
Holding a degree in engineering specializing in chemistry, complemented by a comprehensive understanding for cocktail creation and bartending, craft distillation is a natural curiosity for Cooke. He is a past director of the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association’s B.C. Chapter, and has spent the last year as the senior bartender at Tableau Bar Bistro.
“As a bartender, working at a craft distillery like Odd Society Spirits is a dream realized,” says Cooke. “From grain to glass I have input, developing ideas for cocktails before the spirit is even finalized.”
As Brand Ambassador, Cooke will create and maintain an advanced cocktail program utilizing all products made onsite by Odd Society Spirits. Acting as an extension of the distillery, he will fulfill multiple roles including lead bartender and sales representative, educating local restaurant and bar staff about Odd Society Spirits. Read more