In our breakdown of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods, we count Main Street as a north-south linear amalgam of Mount Pleasant/Riley Park/Little Mountain, a contiguous high street entity (including 2-3 residential and industrial blocks on its east-west peripheries) from Prior St. all the way to 41st Ave. It boasts beautiful parks both small and large, a dizzying variety of retail shops (many of them used/vintage), a handful of art galleries, a torrent of new breweries, good record stores, a litter of interesting independent restaurants that run the cuisine gamut (including 24hr fried chicken), quality cafes/hangouts,, one legendary live music venue and another in the making, bingo games, a happening legion, and even a farmer’s market. Known as much for its cool factor as for its diversity and down to earth accessibility, Main Street – in our estimation of its modern borders – is as honest a cross-sectioned representation of Vancouver’s cultural promise as you’ll find.
City Centre Motor Hotel quad-colour; exterior of the new Fox Cabaret; red signage of Pizzeria Farina; pool table felt in the Ivanhoe Pub; the polished concrete floor at Gene; 49th Parallel Coffee turquoise; takeaway box from Lucky’s Doughnuts; neon blue exterior signage at The Cascade Room; beer battered halloumi at The Acorn; “Fall Back” session stout at Brassneck Brwery; Red Truck Brewery’s red truck; the facing stones of Heritage Hall.
COMMUNITY EVENTS AT HISTORIC HERITAGE HALL
STILL OPERABLE TELEPHONE BOOTHS
THE ALWAYS INTERESTING VANCOUVER SPECIAL
GIGS AT THE BILTMORE AND THE FOX CABARET
A DOZEN VINTAGE CLOTHING SHOPS OF VARYING DEGREES OF WORTHINESS
FRESH PRODUCE (AND SAUSAGES) AT THE MAIN STREET STATION FARMER’S MARKET
CAREFULLY CURATED VINYL COLLECTIONS AT RED CAT AND DANDELION EMPORIUM
GAMES OF BAR RULES POOL AT THE IVANHOE
STACKS OF GOOD, REASONABLY PRICED BOOKS AT PULP FICTION
THE INTANGIBLY EXCELLENT HASTY MARKET
VINTAGE MS. PACMAN AT ANTISOCIAL SKATEBOARD SHOP
PAIN AU CHOCOLATE AT LE MARCHE ST. GEORGE
SPAGHETTI POMODORO AT CAMPAGNOLO
TURKISH FIGS & BRIE BENNY AT SLICKETY JIM’S
FINOCHIONNA PIZZA AT PIZZERIA FARINA
TAN TAN NOODLE WITH MEAT SAUCE AND GREEN ONION CAKES AT LONG’S NOODLE HOUSE
FISH & CHIPS AT THE FISH COUNTER
BRASIED KALE & SAUSAGE PIZZA AT DON’T ARGUE
BEER BATTERED HALLOUMI AT THE ACORN
TURKEY DINNER AT HELEN’S GRILL
DIRTY BURGER AT CAMP UPSTAIRS
FRIED CHICKEN WITH PICKLED VEGGIES AT BURDOCK & CO.
COFFEE AND THE SUNDAY NEW YORK TIMES AT GENE CAFE
BACON, WAFFLES, AND BEER (YER DAMN RIGHT!) AT 33 ACRES
TRADITIONAL FRENCH CRULLER AT LUCKY’S DOUGHNUTS
In conversations about Mount Pleasant these days, the old “Brewery Creek” moniker is being increasingly employed on account of all the new breweries that have arrived in recent years. But what exactly is the significance of the name? It’s important to note that although it’s generally thought of as synonymous with the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, the “Brewery Creek” distinction refers to a particular stretch of waterway that was integral to the growth and economic development of the area. Long before white settlers arrived, this expansive region was a popular harvesting location for First Nations. It would later become an important economic sector for new businesses thanks to its flowing natural resource.
The patch of land that became known as Mount Pleasant was originally shrouded in dense, dark rainforest. The creek that drained this forest into the salty waters of False Creek sat at the bottom of a large ravine that was open to the sky. It offered an abundance of flowers, berries, and other plants used by First Nations for medicine and food. The (now lost) waterway began near where Mountain View Cemetery is located today. Water flowed downhill just west of modern-day Fraser Street to a marshy, dammed area near 14th Avenue (Tea Swamp Park). From here, the creek flowed down the Mount Pleasant hillside, following a northeastern path alongside a First Nations trail (near where Kingsway cuts across Main Street), and continuing into the eastern waters of False Creek (which have since been filled in) near Terminal Avenue.
In 1867, the creek area in Mount Pleasant became Vancouver’s first piped waterway, delivering water by flume to Gastown – then the center of the city – and the boilers at Captain Edward Stamp’s Mill near the foot of Dunlevy (later known as the Hastings Sawmill).
The Brewery Creek region was defined by its open landscape, its distinct flora and fauna, and the numerous businesses that followed the path of the waterway – including several slaughterhouses, the nearby Vancouver Tannery, and an assortment of local beverage-makers that used the creek to power their water wheels: the San Francisco Brewery (later known as the Red Star Brewery), Mainland Brewery, Landsdowne Brewery, Lion Brewery, and the Thorpe & Co. Soda Water Works.
In 1889, Charles Gottfried Doering, a Saxony native, established the Vancouver Brewery along the Creek. Two years later, he partnered with Otto Marstrand and renamed the business as the Doering & Marstrand Brewing Co. It soon developed into the largest local industry, with several overseas export routes. In 1902, the successful company merged with the city’s first brewery, the Red Cross Brewery located near the Burrard Inlet, to become Vancouver Breweries Ltd. Eventually, the company upgraded to accommodate new technologies and a larger production space, and in 1904 Vancouver Breweries built an expansion at 280 East 6th Avenue.
The historic “Fell’s Candy Factory” signage on the exposed brick exterior of the building denotes one of the variety of other business that once operated here. These included a dairy, an ice plant, and a warehouse. Today it’s known simply as the Brewery Creek Building. The nearby Mission Revival-style building on 7th Ave (formerly the Vancouver Brewery Garage) was recently updated to offices and modern artist spaces. Main Street’s present-day Cascade Room takes its name from the Vancouver Brewery’s flagship beer: Cascade, “The Beer Without a Peer”.
In 1904, two of Brewery Creek’s slaughterhouses near Scotia and 1st demolished in order to expand the local railway systems; the flow of commerce began to extend uphill into Mount Pleasant as an extension of the development “downtown”. Circa 1910, 9th Avenue and Westminster Avenue were renamed Broadway and Main Street, respectively, to echo the growing departure from British influence towards a more modern “Americanized” character. Mount Pleasant was poised to become a major economic hub, and though this vision was never fully realized, the “Main Street” distinction was meant to attribute a commercial flair to the area.
While False Creek remained an industrial area into the 1950s, Mount Pleasant grew into a flourishing residential suburb, with plenty of historic homes and churches to prove it. Many homes and businesses that were built on top of the Brewery Creek ravine feature full sub-ground basements – a rare commodity for most buildings in the area. However, in the ’70s and ’80s, industrialization crept south and the area became less and less desirable for suburban homeowners. During the post-war period the area became home to a sizeable working-class and immigrant population, and a steady rise in crime and urban decay caused a shift in the neighbourhood’s reputation. The evolving needs of the community meant that preserving Brewery Creek and the ravine area as a resource was not a priority.
In 1922, the Masonic Knights of Pythias Hall had been built right over the creek at 8th and Scotia. This unique heritage building, now known as the Western Front, was purchased in 1973 by a group of artists and transformed into an internationally known live/work and performance space. Subsequently, the Brewery Creek area transformed, particularly over the 1990’s, into a collection of cafes, residences, and community spaces devoted to the growing artist population. That said, while Mount Pleasant experienced a cultural resurgence, Brewery Creek faded away.
Remnants of this historic landscape are still noticeable if you look close enough. While the streets north of 12th Avenue in Mount Pleasant are bumpy and unsettled (a telltale sign of swampy land underneath), the streets on the sloped northern side offered a direct cascading route down into False Creek that can be traced along the low points of the east-west streets. On 5th Avenue, between Scotia and Brunswick Street, a small ravine-type park was created to pay tribute to the famous waterway, and thousands of years of First Nations presence and prosperity in this area are recognized by the Native Education College on 5th Avenue and Scotia. Additionally, a number of historic bronze cairns by Bruce MacDonald were installed by the Brewery Creek Historical Society (founded in 1988) to follow the original northbound pathway of the creek.
The creek and its original breweries are long gone, and the historic industries have been replaced with a variety of residential buildings – including the 1992 conversion of the Vancouver Brewery Building into artist studios and trendy apartments. Recently, the spirit of this area’s heritage has been revived, thanks to a small number of new local breweries popping up along the hillside. In keeping with the character of the Brewery Creek area, their focus on locally made quality products provides sippable glimpses into the historic industry that sparked a citywide legacy, and offers a return to the roots of this ever-evolving neighbourhood.
- Main Street was formerly known as Westminster Avenue. Local merchants requested a change in 1910 to help establish a commercial, cosmopolitan character.
- The area of Mount Pleasant attracted several breweries from 1888 to 1912, many of which used water from the local creeks.
- The Lee Building at Main and Broadway was the first skyscraper outside of Vancouver’s downtown core.
- Mount Pleasant takes its name from the Irish birthplace of the wife of H.V. Edmonds, a New Westminster municipal clerk with extensive property titles in the area.
- The Main and Broadway area is recognized as Vancouver’s first suburb, which developed following the nearby construction of the Kingsway and Main Street intersection in the 1890s.
“East Van” is an umbrella term referring to all of the neighbourhoods east of Ontario Street. It includes Mount Pleasant, Riley Park, Main Street, Grandview-Woodlands, Killarney, Kensington-Cedar Cottage, Hastings Sunrise, The Fraserhood, Champlain Heights, Fraserview Victoria, Sunset, and Renfrew Collingwood. It is a huge swathe of land; largely residential (with some pockets of industrial), massively multi-cultural, and predominately working class.
In East Van at the moment (our HOOD palettes are ever-changing), we’re seeing the seven core shades of the Trout Lake Community Centre; the late dusky sky that signals the start of the Illuminares Lantern Festival; Vancouver Giants tri-colour; the September grass in McSpadden Park; the little yellow Fiat in front of Via Tevere; the green doors of the Cedar Cottage Coffee House; the gravel pathways around New Brighton Park; lipstick red on the Burlesque dancers at The Biltmore; the North Shore mountains from Clinton Park; Punjabi Market signage.
A BLUE COLLAR WORK ETHIC
LEESIDE, A SKATEPARK BUILT BY SKATEBOARDERS
INTENSE GAMES OF CRICKET
THE INCOMPARABLE 60′S STYLE 2400 MOTEL
THE AWESOME ODDITIES AT HACKSPACE
THE TROUT LAKE FARMERS MAKET
TOURS OF PURDY’S CHOCOLATE FACTORY
TWILIGHT LANTERN PROCESSIONS
BBQ’S AT NEW BRIGHTON PARK
INNER CITY KIDS WITH A PASSION FOR WRITING
A GREAT PLACE TO RENT A DRILL
LATE NIGHT DONUTS AND PUPUSAS AT DUFFINS
BUFALA MOZZARELLA FROM BOSA FOODS
SATURDAY MORNING CINNAMON BUNS AT JJ BEAN ON POWELL
RAMEN BURGERS AT THE HAWKER’S MARKET
PRE-RACE BUFFET AT HASTINGS RACECOURSE
CARDAMOM INFUSED HONEY FROM MELLIFERA BEES
24 HOUR DOSAS AT HOUSE OF DOSAS
The Alley Chairs project is curated by Nicole Arnett, an invaluable friend to Scout. It documents/invents the dramas surrounding the abandoned alleyway chairs and sofas of East Vancouver.
- In 1929 the Pacific Nation Exhibition (PNE) opened an amusement park next door called Happy Land. In 1958 it was reopened as Playland.
- China Creek takes its name from a group of Chinese-owned farms in the area near the turn of the century.
- Prior to the Depression of 1913, the Cedar Cottage neighbourhood featured a small roller coaster.
- Skinny dipping in Trout Lake is a civic tradition that dates back to Vancouver’s beginnings.
- Established in 1860, Brighton Beach (now New Brighten Park) was once a fashionable vacation spot for New Westminsterites looking for a seaside getaway.
- The Cedar Cottage neighbourhood gets its name from Cedar Cottage Brewery, built in 1901.
- Benjamin Tingley Roger, the owner of Roger’s sugar, struck a deal with the city in 1890 to build his refinery on the condition that he could enjoy 10 years of free water and 15 years of no taxes.
The GOODS from Campagnolo Roma
Vancouver, BC | On Wednesday, March 12, chef de cuisine Joachim Hayward will prepare a family style feast for the offal-curious paired with two unique cask conditioned beers created by R&B’s head brewer Todd Graham especially for this event.
Campagnolo ROMA started Quinto Quarto in 2011 with the intention of honouring the Roman tradition of cooking offal. Quinto Quarto literally means the fifth quarter and refers to the less desirable cuts of meat from an animal. These dinners pay homage to the butchers of Rome’s Testaccio district who kept the fifth quarter for themselves and initiated this style of cooking.
Nose-to-tail dining at its best, Quinto Quarto offers a rare opportunity to thoroughly enjoy the odd bits. Diners can expect crispy pig’s ears with preserved green tomatoes, Fraser Valley duck cooked three ways including duck heart tartare, Pacific octopus, lamb neck, bone marrow, seasonal vegetables, white chocolate with caramelized crackling, and of course, soft serve ice cream and more. Tickets are $79.50 inclusive of dinner, cask beer, tax and gratuity. Guests will sit at communal tables and take part in this traditional family-style meal. Get all the delicious details after the jump… Read more
A visit to the brand new Basho Japanese cafe at 2007 East Hastings St. today saw a Veggie Lunch Set that blew our socks off. It included a cup of thick yam soup; a delicious, lightly dressed (tofu?) green salad with walnuts; a pickled vegetable, broccoli, cucumber, carrot, and avocado rice bowl; a steaming cup of light and simple green tea; and an assortment of matcha cookies. Not bad for for $10.50! If this is the first time you’ve heard of this place, take a click here or browse through the gallery below.
Basho | 2007 East Hastings | 604-428-6276 | www.bashocafe.com
by Chuck Hallett | And you thought 2013 was a big year for breweries. 2014 is off to a bang, and not quite two months in we’re already welcoming the opening of our second local brewery (the first was Black Kettle of North Van in early January). Now, crouched at the starting blocks in East Van and awaiting their official Friday opening, we have Bomber Brewing.
Bomber Brewing, with it’s connection to BierCraft via founder cum brewer Don Farion, joins Vancouver’s two other existing brewery/restaurant duos: Brassneck/Alibi Room and Parallel 49/St. Augustine’s. Between those two examples, Bomber is a bit closer to Parallel 49 in terms of both beer styles (session-able beer sold by the six-pack), and in terms of raw location (1488 Adanac).
You read that right. Eschewing the rapidly growing, painfully hip and increasingly crowded Mount Pleasant/Brewery Creek neighbourhood for the more industrial confines of East Strathcona, Bomber is the first to open of three planned breweries clustered around Venables and Clark.
They join relative veterans Powell Street, Parallel 49, Coal Harbour and actual veteran Storm Brewing a short distance away to form a tight, walkable pod of breweries that some are already calling Yeast Van.
Tucked deep in the belly of their warehouse at 1488 Adanac is a cosy, darkened tasting room in which plentiful use of natural wood and stone contrast sharply with the cold, brightly lit steel fermenters on the other side of a large glass window, in which the beer is made. It’s a great place to whittle away an afternoon, or four.
Bomber opens Friday February 14th 2-7pm for growler fills (1 & 2 L) and six-pack/bottle sales, with the tasting lounge following shortly on Monday February 17th with their regular hours of 11am-11pm. Beer lineup at launch will be their IPA, ESB, Stout and Belgian Blonde (Blonde in growler fills only).
by Andrew Morrison | Foreign Restaurant Porn looks at covet-worthy restaurants from parts afar and uses them to plug holes – geographically or conceptually - in Vancouver’s own restaurant landscape. This week we’re dreaming about Namnam, an 88 seat Singaporean eatery in Copenhagen, and wishing it was located in the Fraserhood. We’ve gotten word that a developer is looking into retro-fitting the 3,000 sqft Excel Tire Centre at 615 Kingsway and is currently on the lookout for a restaurant/lounge tenant. That’s the same block as Los Cuervos, Les Faux Bourgeois, and Matchstick Coffee, and right across the street from the very photogenic Black Lodge.
Why do we want this? Well, chiefly because “build-to-suit” opportunities that are tucked away in our neighbourhoods don’t come around every day, and we can imagine in our minds eye an outdoor patio with hanging lights in colourful lanterns strung across it high above the tables (explore above for the visual). Go ahead, close your eyes and imagine it. Smell the beef rendang and proper laksas mingling in wafts on warm summer nights and taste the cold bottles of Tiger beer. We’ll settle simply for an operator who gives a damn, but c’mon…a Namnam-esque joint with reasonable price points would just kill it here.
The GOODS from The Biltmore Cabaret
Vancouver, BC | Valentine’s Day is coming up, and nothing bleeds romance like soul music. With that, the Biltmore has put together a nice little thing with our friends from the neighbourhood, The Cascade Company. Dinner for two, followed by dancing for free! Take that special someone out to one of their fine restaurants and make sure to get a receipt, then roll on over to The Biltmore and slide on in, on us, and get close to the sweet sounds of The East Van Soul Club. Learn more after the jump… Read more
4712 Hastings St, Burnaby, BC, V5C 2K7
Telephone: 604.428.4200 | Email: info [at] christophe-chocolat.com
Web: www.christophe-chocolat.com | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 8:00am to 6pm | Closed Sunday/Monday
Christophe Bonzon, Co-Owner & Executive Pastry Chef
Jess Bonzon, Co-Owner
About Chez Christophe
The story of Chez Christophe is a story of love and passion – your Artisans love for sharing his creations and a little bit of his Swiss origins by introducing you to a small taste of Switzerland. Christophe Bonzon discovered chocolate at the age of ten when he was helping his mother make chocolate truffles as a gift for Christmas. Since then the passion for sweet food never left him. Christophe is a Swiss trained “Confectioner” or in more familiar terms Pastry Chef/Chocolatier. Alongside chocolate another of his passions is creating artistic sculptures with sugar. For the meticulous Christophe, his art lies in “the freedom of creativity and my passion for creating artistic sculptures with sugar and chocolate – the opportunities to transform are endless.”
Christophe’s resumé is studded with a decade full of intense apprenticeships and coursework in the fine art of pastry and chocolate, both in his native Switzerland and in France. Amongst many other institutions he has studied under some of Europe’s grand masters at Zurich’s Chocolate Academy, and at l’Ecole du Grand Chocolat Valrhona in France. Various professional postings followed, including as pastry chef at Confectionary Schneider in Switzerland, followed by Choux Cafe in Western Australia. Christophe worked as an Executive Pastry Chef at one of the finest French Pastry Shops in Perth.
More recently Christophe was the Executive Pastry Chef at the award-winning CinCin Restorante in Vancouver, Canada. Christophe is a firm believer that you are constantly learning throughout your life for the learning curve never ends.
Local food industry veterans Miju Kawai and Hiroshi Kawai are aiming to open a darling little Japanese cafe this week or the next with their daughter, Moeno. The 16 seater is called Basho, which means “place” in Japanese. It’s located at 2007 East Hastings St., just a block east of Victoria Drive.
Hiroshi and Miju are lifers. They owned a neighbourhood lunch spot in Yokohama before moving to Canada to open North Van’s Kokoro eatery in 1994. After selling it nearly a decade later, they opened Hiroshi’s Sushi Creations on Oak Street in 2005 (it’s now called Tokiwa).
Inspired by the neighbourhood coffee shops that they loved and hung out in on adventures in Tokyo and Berlin, the Kawai’s want Basho to be a den of coziness with small personal touches that give off genuine warmth. Almost everything in Basho is handmade by the family, from the furniture and stained glass by Hiroshi to the pottery, quilts and knits by Miju and the aprons and wood carvings by Moeno. All the plates, cups, and dishes were either sourced from local thrift stores or made by hand. The music is all vinyl.
In addition to Japanese sencha, genmaicha and bancha, Basho will be steeping 3 black teas, 1 rooibos, and 1 herbal tea, plus coffee from Hand Works Coffee Studio. For food, there will be lunch sets of salads, sandwiches, and rice bowls, not to mention house-baked sweets. Expect matcha flavours, Japanese style crème caramels, and mochi.
As it stands now, they’re just one permit away from unlocking their doors. When they get the green light, the hours will be Tuesday through Friday from 7:30am to 4:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 4pm. In the meantime, you can follow them and stay up to date on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
We think it’s safe to say that just about everyone who knew about the coming of The Fish Counter on Main St. were expecting it to serve the very best fish and chips in town when it opened last month. We also think it’s safe to say that that is exactly what everyone has been getting. Salmon, halibut, ling cod, pacific cod, oysters — every one of the options hums in the deep fryer and sings in the mouth with dollops of pickly tartar sauce and generous squirts of lemon juice. The side saddle fries are excellent, too, especially when tarred with malt vinegar and feathered with salt. It’s all Ocean Wise, of course, as the two owners – Rob Clark and McDermid (the straight-faced chef and knife-wielding biologist pictured above) – are the sustainable seafood program’s two founders. Go score a two-piece and be golden!
The Fish Counter | 3825 Main Street | Vancouver, BC | 604-876-3474 | www.thefishcounter.com
We’ve invited the Fraserhood’s excellent Earnest ice Cream to join our GOODS section as a recommended place to indulge with family and friends. They are now proud members of Scout, and as such we will be posting their news in addition to hosting a page for them on our curated list of independent goodness. We would like to thank them for their support of Scout, and for making Vancouver a sweeter place to be.
by Andrew Morrison | Foreign Restaurant Porn looks at covet-worthy restaurants from parts afar and uses them to plug holes – geographically or conceptually - in Vancouver’s own restaurant landscape. This week we’re drooling over the stained glass and tile-decorated Fleischerei Bar in Leipzig, Germany. It’s a gorgeous 40-50 person stand-up sit-down watering hole that I think would suit the Riley Park neighbourhood well (roundabout the 4300 block of Main Street in a space similar to Lifetime Collective‘s).
Why? Because it’s pretty, for starters, and that train station-style bench is a dead ringer for the one at Don’t Argue. What’s more, it would be nice to have a few liquor-forward (not liquor primary) establishments in our neighbourhoods. I’m not talking about the kind of gargantuan steroidal shit show bro-pubs that Vancouver is now completely over-run by, but rather small cloisters of craft where nearby residents could come together for a pint of beer, a dram of whisky or an Old Fashioned cocktail without having to drive downtown (or be pressured to order dinner). No televisions. No shitty satellite radio station. Just a little style with a massive oak bar serving up honest to goodness drinks. (photos)
The GOODS from The Biltmore Cabaret
Vancouver, BC | In January of 2008, New York theatre professionals Burgundy Brixx and The Purrfessor brought Vancouver audiences a west-coast edition of their much loved long-running New York City Burlesque show. On January 19th, 2014, Kitty Knights celebrates the bust-out success of an unprecedented six sexy years of their award-winning weekly show at the Biltmore Cabaret! Kitty Nights’ 6th Anniversary Soiree will be a celebration of all the sparkling facets of Vancouver’s critically acclaimed burlesque arts community. Performers from Sweet Soul Burlesque, Pandora And The Locksmiths, The Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society, and the new Lost Girls Burlesque will all share the Kitty Nights’ spotlight that evening. Learn more about the show after the jump… Read more