The GOODS from Vancouver Urban Winery
Vancouver, BC | Vancouver Urban Winery is hosting a Pop-Up Tasting Bar this Saturday, April 20th (4pm to 11pm) featuring Railtown Cafe and Salt Spring Vineyards’ Blackberry Port. Vancouver Urban Winery’s tasting bar features 36 wines taps with wines from all over BC. Guests can enjoy one of our signature tasting flights or select their favorite wines from our extensive on-tap list. Wines will be enjoyed with gourmet eats from Railtown Cafe and we are launching the release of our first Port on-tap; 2011 Blackberry “Port” from Salt Spring Vineyards. Book a reservation 604-566-9463, walk-ins welcome. Read more
The GOODS from East of Main Cafe
Vancouver, BC | East of Main Cafe has launched a new menu for spring created by consulting chef, Tina Fineza. As Tina has been exposed to exotic foods her entire life, Mediterranean flavours come naturally to her. The new menu includes more tapas dishes and share plates, is intense with bright Mediterranean spices and focuses on ethically produced ingredients. Dishes include Lamb Tagine, Eggplant Moussaka, Seared Rare Albacore Tuna, Coffee & Pomegranate Cauliflower and Chickpea Kale Salad. The lunch menu has also been updated with a variety of fresh salads and wraps to reflect the Mediterranean theme. Check out the new menu here and learn more about East of Main after the jump Read more
by Stevie Wilson | On a Kingsway drive out towards the ‘burbs, it’s easy to miss the scattering of unique older buildings – particularly because there aren’t too many of them left. One vestige of the Kingsway Corridor’s heyday (before it was simply a conduit to and from Metrotown) is the familiar 2400 Court, conveniently located smack-dab en route to The Big City. Boasting a freestanding vintage neon sign, famously plain stucco exteriors, and manicured lawns straight out of the ‘60s, this Streamline Modern oasis reflects the booming car and motel culture that pervaded many cities in the middle of the last century. Built in 1946, the three and a half acre site houses 18 detached buildings with 65 single units. It was originally envisioned as a home-away-from-home for tourists and visitors keen on taking advantage of their newfound motor mobility.
In its prime, 2400 Court featured hot water heating, a “chesterfield suite”, writing desk, mail service, Simmons mattresses, electric range, and more; basically “everything that goes to make your visit inviting, pleasant, and enjoyable”. Flash forward a few decades later and it’s a landmark for many generations of Vancouverites, an icon of post-war travel culture that is seen by many but recognized by few. It’s situated on what used to be the primary route into the city, and has, fortunately, received some significant care and upkeep over the years. A few famous guests (including special agents Scully and Mulder) have helped maintain the former Ma-and-Pop-run establishment as a point of interest for heritage buffs and tenants alike.
As a byway, Kingsway dates back to the 1870s, when it was then known as Westminster Road. Its abundance of gas stations, restaurants, and parks built from the 1920s into the 1940s presented it as an ideal thoroughfare to and from major destinations in the Lower Mainland. The completion of the Patullo Bridge in 1937 paved the way – so to speak – for a new crop of accommodations along a stretch that united towns and facilitated travel south to and from the US. For families living in the relatively comfortable post-war economic boom, a trip to nearby Wally’s Burgers and a stay at 2400 Court was likely a really swell time.
By the early 1960s the term “Motel” was introduced in place of “Court” to reflect a trend towards single, multi-unit hotel buildings as opposed to open, bungalow-style auto courts. As many historians and heritage experts have noted, the site is a truly pristine example of post-war car culture aesthetic amidst a sea of lackluster modern developments. A few years back, the future of 2400 Court was threatened by the development of the Norquay Neighbourhood Centre Plan. As of March 2013, it appears as if City Council will be moving forward with new zoning which will repurpose the entire area as “a medium density centre of shops, services and community spaces”, including high-density housing. Currently, the Motel sits in the Vancouver Heritage Society’s Top Ten List of Endangered Sites, with plenty of public support for its continued maintenance. The City purchased the area in 1989, so it remains to be seen what will become of it (hey, remember the El Dorado?).
The truth is, the sprawling design of the 2400 Motel can’t compete with more space saving modern developments. Inside, it’s outdated without much to offer any luxury-seeking tourists. Despite its visual appeal to mid-century enthusiasts and value as a reflection of post-war architecture, it’s simply not a contender in the hotel game these days – and it sits on prime real estate. And so the eternal question remains: what do we do with heritage that stands in the way of development? Is something “old” worth saving if we don’t have a use for it? That’s a tough call to make, to be sure. In the meantime, read more on the site’s heritage values in Birmingham & Wood’s Statement of Significance for the City, and maybe take a closer look next time you rush on by!
Stevie Wilson is an historian masquerading as a writer. After serving as an editor for the UBC History Journal, she’s decided to branch out with a cryptic agenda: encouraging the people of Vancouver to take notice of their local history and heritage with You Should Know, a Scout column that aims to show you the things that you already see. Just nod your head and pretend you’re paying attention.
by Andrew Morrison | Main St. fixture Habit will be closing its doors for good after dinner service this Sunday, April 14th after 8 years in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. The owners – the same folks who brought us Cascade next door, El Camino’s to the south, and The Union to the North – will launch a new concept, this time Italian, before the month is out. They’ve just sent me the following note:
Habit has changed throughout those 8 years, but it’s always stood as a hub to the community and has had a strong, loyal following. We felt the time was right for a shake-up, and after much thought and deliberation over what we feel the neighbourhood needs, we decided on what will be known as “Charlie’s Little Italian”.
So, what to expect from “Charlie’s Little Italian”? A fun, lively, old school, affordable pasta joint for the neighbourhood, evoking memories of a bygone era of the type of place where you’d go with your family: red & white gingham tablecloths, oversized peppermills and tableside parmesan service, but now in a fast-paced, hip, cafe environment.
Chef Tristan Burley and his team are putting together a fantastic, value-driven menu featuring a great range of traditional pasta dishes, antipasti, salads and hand-tossed garlic breads. Don’t worry, we’ll still be doing brunch!
The bar will be relocated to the front of the restaurant, where you can expect a tight little wine list, classic Italian cocktails, sodas, beers, espressos. The team at Habit are really excited to bring this new concept to the neighbourhood that has supported us for so many years.
So, with the clock ticking on the last days of Habit, we invite you to come down and say goodbye with some great specials from the kitchen and a tiki cocktail or two. We look forward to welcoming you back in mid-April, (expected re-opening date Monday, April 22, 2013).
I always had a soft spot for the redesign after the late night fire on December 7th, 2008 destroyed the first incarnation. And my god…the brunches! Still, this sounds like a fair trade, and I’ll gladly take it.
The GOODS from The Acorn
Vancouver, BC | Chef Brian Skinner has created a new menu to kick off The Acorn’s first ever Spring season! The launch this Friday night will see Rodney Graham and Jeremy Schmidt deejaying and include new dishes such as Grilled Asparagus Salad with pickled radish, house-made ricotta, hazelnuts, and lemon; gluten-free Stinging Nettle Gnocchi with morels, peas, mint, pine nuts, and crème fraiche; and back by popular demand: Lavender & Honey Crème Brulee! Of course, guests are also welcome to slip in before Friday to enjoy the last days of our Winter menu! Details about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from East of Main Cafe
Vancouver, BC | East of Main Cafe and Project Limelight Society proudly present Monday Night Live, a unique evening of storytelling featuring actors, directors, producers, agents, casting directors, and other film industry professionals. East of Main Cafe provides a topic and 7 minutes for film industry professionals to tell their story. Enthusiasts, fans and colleagues are encouraged to fill the audience. Admission is free but donations will be accepted to Project Limelight Society, a free performing arts program for children living in Vancouver’s DTES. Head to East of Main early for drinks and tapas in order to secure a seat for the 7pm start time. This intimate evening will conclude with a candid Q and A with the storytellers. 100% of the profits from East of Main Cafe benefit Project Limelight Society. Get all the details and find out who tonight’s storytellers are after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters
Vancouver, BC | Since our start back in 2005, 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters has been buying, roasting and selling Specialty Coffee beans to the high-end market. Located just outside Vancouver, BC, we are constantly in pursuit of talented and enthusiastic people to join our team. We are currently seeking to employ a Green Coffee Buyer – a key role within the company. The main purpose of this position is to be hands-on with purchasing and monitoring green coffee quality throughout the year.
The position is focused around frequent international travel to initiate, create and maintain relationships with producing partners at origin. In addition to procurement, the position will involve working closely with Quality Control, Education and PR/Marketing. It is a position that suits a person that is organized, comfortable both working alone and amongst teams. It requires a person that is an excellent motivator and communicator. Get all the details after the jump… Read more
by Andrew Morrison | A new restaurant called Graze is slated for the former Fray spot at 3980 Fraser. The 2000 sqft, 75-85 seat eatery will serve entirely plant-based comfort cuisine from chef Karen McAthy (she of Good Girl Bad Girl Preserves, lately of W2 Media Cafe, and caterer for Creative Mornings). The owners are local front of house vet Bridget Burns (Ginger 62, TheVeganProject.com) and “serial entrepreneur” Michael Lyons (not chef Michael Lyon of Kelowna).
Since Fray only announced its closure on March 17th and Graze intends to open in early May, it follows that most of the changes will be cosmetic. I know that the bar/lounge area is being expanded, but beyond painting and lighting (“organic textures and colours”), it sounds like renos will be kept to a minimum. They have access to another 2000 sqft upstairs (private functions, etc.), but that will be a second stage of construction, and well down the road after opening day.
The food concept appears to be closer to the Naam than The Acorn, which is to say a little simpler and more down home. Oh, and if term “plant-based” has you flummoxed, it’s just a less scary way of saying “vegan”. Think gluten-free, roasted yam and eggplant-stuffed perogies lit with garlic, applewood salt and smoked paprika; pickled beet fries; house made tofus; veggie pot pies and the like. There will be no lunch service, only supper and weekend brunch. I’m told that prices will be accessible, with everything on the menu under $20. “No one will leave hungry,” says Lyon.
Though I’ve only met her once (and briefly), McAthy struck me as very down to earth and committed (her kitchen will doing a lot of pickling, preserving, and smoking), and I assume from Burns’ own blog that ownership is invested in ways that transcend the financial.
Overall, though I think folks in the Fraserhood (and beyond) were rightly bummed to see the irrepressibly casual Fray fold, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Graze fill the vacuum with ease. There’s been an increasing demand for quality restaurants hereabouts, and meatless dining is definitely on the up and up. Smart restaurants are usually good restaurants, so I’m looking forward to this one (even if it’s bereft of bacon).
The GOODS from Campagnolo
Vancouver, BC | Campagnolo Supper Club presents Get Cracklin, a nose-to-tail feast of whole roasted suckling pig to be held on April 17. Chef Ted Anderson is preparing an array of seasonal sides to be served family style and shared at communal tables to complement the pig. There are only 30 seats available, so get cracklin! Details after the jump… Read more
In his Barley Mowat column, Scout beer writer Chuck Hallett recently gave us an update and look inside at what was happening with Mt. Pleasant highly anticipated 33 Acres Brewing Company. Now you can pair that intel with a cool, refreshing video that is making our office thirsty:
Two years ago the idea of building a family run microbrewery began to unfold. Enlisting the help of a few friends, slowly the plans began to materialize. A space in Mt. Pleasant was chosen as our home, this is a look at what?s been happening around here since signing on the dotted line.
The GOODS from Vancouver Urban Winery
Vancouver, BC | The Vancouver Urban Winery presents Sunday School, a series of informal and irreverent wine seminars hosted by Sommeliers David Stansfield and Lisa Cook. The focus of Sunday School will be on demystifying wine in an accessible and energetic environment. “Our goal is to pair a little education with a lot of wine, and even more fun” explains David Stansfield. “That’s the great thing about learning about wine. The best way to do it is to drink, and to talk about drinking.” Details after the jump… Read more
A couple of weeks ago a group calling themselves the Anti-Gentrification Front stole Save On Meats’ sidewalk sign, posed with it by throwing up peace signs (absurdly, as above) and sent the picture to Mark Brand as if they were putting him on notice. It was a silly bit of business, really, and it would be oh so easy to leave it at that and pay the insurance man. Alas, I don’t think that’s what Brand has in mind.
“The team was bummed. We say bummed because it was an inanimate sheet of plywood,” he writes tonight via email. “Nobody was hurt (feelings aside) but threats were hurled. Serious threats against the venue, and therefore against employees, people who work day in and out for their community.” In the morning, it appears as if he and “the team” will be responding, not with threats of their own, but with a laugh at the Anti-Gentrification Front’s posturing and a new campaign to help feed the women of the Rainier Hotel.
After an amazing week of media, emails and neighbourhood love a call was made. This piece of plywood was shaped to feed the community we love. For every picture (instagram @saveonmeats), tweet (@saveonmeats) and Facebook share with the sign we will provide breakfast to one resident at the recently underfunded Rainier Hotel. Yes, this is meant to spread the word and leverage media. It’s meant to show people that we will not be intimidated or bullied, nor have we ever been in the dozens of attacks in our 26+ months here.
Here’s the short version: misguided folk steal sign and hurl threats. We rebuild sign with donation and work within our community. People help said community with two clicks on their mobile device and show support.
Save On Meats: 1 Jackasses: 0
And…it’s a ton of fun to take pictures with.
by Andrew Morrison | I’m very sad to report that Au Petit Chavignol has closed. I just got a call from Joe Chaput, who summed up the decision to shutter with characteristic frankness, “We had a lot of great customers, just not enough of them.” A message on their website reads:
We would like to let you know that we’ve made the decision to close Au Petit Chavignol effective immediately. After four wonderful years, we would like to thank our guests for their amazing support.
We feel that the time is right to move on to new opportunities and growth within les amis du FROMAGE, and we look forward to sharing more details with you at a later date.
Alice, Allison, Joe and all of our wonderful staff thank you for your patronage.
The little charcuterie, cheese and wine bar next door to Les Amis du Fromage at 843 East Hastings made one of the best cheeseburgers in town (my personal favourite), superb frites, gooey Croques, excellent fondues and raclettes, and other cheesy things besides. The restaurant is umbilically tied to Les Amis (Au Petit’s kitchen is Les Amis’ production kitchen), so I reckon there’s a fair chance that it will either return or give rise to something different. In the meantime, however, it will be missed.