We’ve invited the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association to join our GOODS section as a recommended organisation that is well worth checking out. They’re now proud members of Scout, and as such we’ll be posting their news front and center and hosting a page for them on our curated list of independent goodnesses. We’d like to take this chance to thank them for their support of Scout, and for making BC a more discerning (and tipsier) place to live!
A few months ago I made note of the fact that Voya in the Loden Hotel had quickly gone from one of the city’s most promising restaurants to one that was in big trouble (read the whole thing here). Well, they’re finished. Voya has closed and won’t re-open again, at least not as Voya. If all goes according to plan, a new restaurant will be taking its place in the Spring of this year (which probably means next Fall). I’m told it’ll be a re-imagining of a French bistro, and that Marc-Andre Choquette will be at the helm, and that hotel guests are now being given vouchers to dine at the Glowbal Group’s restaurants.
News from Scout supporter Market by Jean-Georges
Vancouver, BC | Award-winning, veteran bartender, Jay Jones, joins the team of Market by Jean-Georges as lead bartender. Jones, who has been at the forefront of the local bar scene for more than a decade, brings his signature stylings to Market to showcase bar service at one of Vancouver’s destination restaurants. Jones goes behind the bar at Market, located in Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver on Friday, January 14, 2011.
“Jay is a terrific addition to the team and he is literally going to raise the bar in Market,” said Bruno Valentino, general manager, Market by Jean-Georges. “His beverage savvy and his reputation for being an industry leader will no doubt make the Market bar a must for locals and visitors.”
A Vancouver native, Jones has developed and lead cocktail, wine and beer programs for the city’s top restaurants and bars, including West, Nu, Salt Tasting Room, the Donnelly Hospitality Group and Voya. Most recently he co-created and opened Pourhouse. Read more
by Andrew Morrison | Read that sign above again. Don’t focus on the spelling errors. Ignore that a supposedly fine dining restaurant of much repute is advertising a tuna melt, and nevermind that it’s nearly 10pm and the staff have forgotten to take in the lunch sign again. I want to, don’t you?
What the hell happened to Voya?
The much ballyhooed restaurant with so much potential in the Loden Hotel has faded away, slowly and without much of a peep. It’s been nearly two years since it opened, and it’s a mere shadow of what it promised to be when it arrived.
Back then, I was convinced it would be rock solid for years to come. I think I even pegged it for some awards. Why? Because it was chef Marc-Andre Choquette’s first swing at the independence bat after working as Rob Feenie’s chef de cuisine for over a thousand years. His cooking had long ago revealed him to be one of the most promising chefs of his local generation, and what he was doing here was really very superb. I top-tenned it in my annual 2008 list of the best new restaurants (#7 in 2008), and gave it one of the best reviews I’d written that year… Read more
Scout is proud to present the 1st annual Guggenheimer Dog Gobble, a hot dog eating competition held at Pourhouse for the Vancouver restaurant community on the afternoon of November 2nd (beginning at 3pm). Organised by Lumiere and DB Bistro sous chef Nathan Guggenheimer and Pourhouse co-owner Jay Jones, the friendly scarfdown is being held with generous sponsorship from Okanagan Spring (beer) and Windsor Meats (hot dogs). Anyone currently employed in the local food and beverage trade is welcome to register by adding their name in the comments below (please also email your contact and t-shirt size info to Nathan at firstname.lastname@example.org).
As the event draws nearer we will be posting more details, but in the meantime, take a look at the rules… Read more
I paid a visit to the folks at the much looked-forward to Pourhouse in Gastown today. It’s coming along so nicely that they’re knocking on wood. Chris Irving had his kitchen stainless steeled this morning, and has already plated his first menu tasting for his co-proprietors (they were very stoked). Co-owner and head bartender Jay Jones has the skeleton of his bar just about complete, and the rest of the room is starting to take shape. The floors look especially double extra very good.
They’re a little tight-lipped about when they’ll open, but given the state of the room and the measure of their enthusiasm I’d say mid-September, easy. That means they’ve got to start putting together a staff, now. They need everything: GM, servers, kitchen crew, even a sous chef. Send your resume to info [at] pourhousevancouver [dot com] if you’re keen, but check the many photos after the leap first. This one’s gonna be a goodie. Read more
A swell group of Gastown restaurant industry folks (including some of the city’s best bar talent) gathered at 162 Water St. just after noon today to honour and help the owners of The Pourhouse in laying down their beautiful virgin bar, a significant milestone in the highly anticipated joints’ construction… Read more
As we noted last week, Pourhouse proprietor/barman Jay Jones recently finished a consulting stint at The Flying Tiger, building a new cocktail list for the restaurant that reflects its pan-Asian theme. What better time to launch a new Scout feature – dubbed Cocktail City – in which we instruct our readers as to the how-to and liquid innards of this town’s most kickass sippers.
So let’s get started. This here be Jay Jones, constructing his “Norman Collins” at The Flying Tiger.
Cocktail maestro Jay Jones has re-written the drinks list at The Flying Tiger on West 4th. The co-owner of the soon-to-open Pourhouse in Gastown will see his creations hit the wood and well soon in order to dovetail with the release of chef Tina Fineza’s new menu (the first significant overhaul since opening three years ago). I was there for staff training day, was able to sneak sips of every single one, and bore witness to each being in keeping with the restaurant’s pan-Asian theme. Good stuff, the lot of it (look out for the rum-based Bengal Breeze).
This is a tough one. I’m looking forward to all three of the following options, and have the utmost confidence in their individual abilities and relative likelihood of success, even in a shit poor economy. But if I had to pick just one…gosh…I just couldn’t do it. Here, you do it.
For those requiring some background…
The Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe
Opening day: early July
Former Boneta co-owner and Le Crocodile/Lumiere/Chambar managerial alumnus Andre McGillivray has partnered up with barman Steve Da Cruz (Boneta and most recently on the wood at Gastropod). Together they’ve secured the old Piccolo Mondo location (most recently Saveur) at 850 Thurlow, just off the Robson drag. They’re releasing no details on the concept or the plan just yet, but with the players involved I think it’s safe to assume that we might be looking at a cocktail-forward and service driven joint with very good food. I’m imagining a downtown cousin of Chambar and Boneta. The bigger news is that the executive chef is going to be none other than Anthony Sedlak, local boy and star of the Food Network show, The Main. This is Anthony’s first executive role, which means this is likely just as exciting for him as it is for his legions of fans.
Opening day: May 2009
With principals that are among the city’s top bartenders – Mark Brand, the 2006 Van Mag Bartender of the Year and co-owner of Boneta; ex-Chambar bar manager Josh Pape; and Sophie Taverner, formerly of The Cascade – they could have called themselves The Ghengis Khan Soda Shack & Swizzle Bar and they’d still likely open to a sustained packed house. Located upstairs at 6 Powell St overlooking Gassy Jack Square, the sixty seat bar and restaurant is called The Diamond. They’ve picked up Christie Peters (ex-Feenies, Chow) and Pierre Natarani (ex-Feenies, Boneta, Medina) to run the small, easy Asian-themed kitchen (gyozas, ramen, etc), and Chambar’s Charles Ainsbury is on his way down to join the bar team as well (the world’s youngest Bartender of the Year, from Australia). The business is a two fronted thing, with days seeing it run as a bartending school, something that will hopefully help elevate the bar scene from its rye and coke doldrums. They’ll also be offering spirit seminars to folks who want to sip and learn prior to heading out on the town, not unlike the many wine tasters you might see at Salt just around the corner. But it’s from 5:30pm until midnight (Thurs-Sun) that The Diamond will likely shine brightest.
Opening day: late summer 2009
It’s about time the journeyman settled down! He’s worked a lot of places over the years (and has accrued a great many of fans and regulars), so this has the reassuring ring of permanence to it. I just spent a week with him in Kentucky on the Bourbon Trail, so I’ve seen first hand how much he appreciates his spirits (it’s terrifying).
So where’s the new place going to be? According to an email from Jay, it’s “the old Flux location in Gastown, just southeast of the Steam clock.” There’ll be 160 seats in total, with 25 at the bar. The concept? “Spirit focused, back to basics drinking and eating.” Huzzah!
Regular readers will recall the flame out of Flux, the concept-less joint at 162 Water St. that tried (if I recall correctly) to mix chocolate with sushi. I always thought it was a prime location, and ripe for folks with either solid name recognition and talent or people with lots of money to buy both. Jay will knock it out of the park here.
Jones’ partner is executive chef Chris Irving, who worked at the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino and West before moving to the UK to toil under the direction of Marcus Wareing and Gordon Ramsay at Restaurant Petrus in London.
It’s hard interviewing subjects during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I sure as hell don’t want to do it, and neither do they. But the news must out. The solution? Do it during the game, or at least between periods. Such was the case yesterday when I Read more
Music to my ears from Voya barkeep Jay Jones this morning: “I’m opening my own joint at the end of the summer”. Read more