OPENING SOON | Brand New & Much Larger “Chambar” Eatery Slated For Summer 2014

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by Andrew Morrison | I’ve been sitting on this story for a few months now, having agreed to keep quiet about it on the understanding that I’d be the first to tell it once the time was right and the ducks were lined in their proverbial row. It’s great to finally be able to break the good news about Chambar’s expansion.

With the end of their lease for Chambar and Cafe Medina on the horizon, owners Karri and Nico Schuermans, with Robbie Kane of Medina, have agreed to move out of their current side by side locations on Beatty Street. (For the sake of brevity, we’ll cover what Robbie has planned for Medina in a follow-up post and only cover Chambar’s move in this one)

The Belgian/Moroccan-themed themed Chambar, inarguably the most impactful restaurant to open in Vancouver in the last decade, will be moving into the building next door that is currently under the renovation knife (see the rendering below). They take possession of the two-level space very soon, and hope to have the “new” Chambar open at some point this summer (June at the very earliest).

The new restaurant will be roughly twice the size of the current one, with about 270 seats between two levels, a 50 seat patio, and private rooms that can fit 20 – 80 people. There are lots of opportunities for new design motifs to fit in with the old, but I suspect it will look very similar to the original. Yes, in addition to the branding, relaxed vibe, deep drinks programs, and casual flirtations with fine dining, much of its furniture will also be making the move, which is great news because who doesn’t love the original tables, couches, banquettes and button-ed up red booths? ”The layout will be just like the old Chambar,” Karri explains, pointing out how the front will be the lounge and bar area that narrows at the waist to open up into a dining room. “The new place has brick and beams, too,” she adds, referring to the core aesthetic of the original. One big change is that the wall that divides the patio from the interior will be glass (said patio will also have its all-day sunshine filtered by young trees – sounds awesome). Also making the move will be the staff, though they’ll definitely be needing to hire a lot more people considering the breadth of their expansion.

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The tiny kitchen will also grow, which will allow chef Nico and his team to do lots of smoked meats, sausages, breads, et cetera – the types of things that he’s always wanted to do but couldn’t on account of the diminutive nature of their original kitchen. “After a few years,” Nico says, “you think, I’m bored of this, I need to move on and the cooks want to see new stuff. We want to make everything in house now.” It’s widely known that Nico can cook at a much higher level than what he currently dishes out (trained at the Michelin-starred Villa Lorraine and toiled at Comme Chez Soi, the Savoy Hotel, and Sydney’s Alhambra), so it’s fair to wonder if the food will be slightly more elevated this time around. “I know, but the current concept works. People like it.” he says. “We’ll always have the mussel pots and the tagines, but the rest of the new plating will be seasonal, with the menu changing about every two months. I really want to focus on that, the farmers, all the way pushing for quality.”

They’re going to be making an entrance into the late night game, too, with a 20 item tapas menu for the expanded lounge and bar area (twice the size of the original with more casual seating arrangements). “People can come and have a meal, relax, have a bottle of wine.” Karri says, asking rhetorically “Where can you go late at night for a bottle of wine with a friend that isn’t a crazy loud pub?” Come to think of it, you could do that at breakfast, too, since the new Chambar will be open all day, serving breakfasts, lunches and dinners, plus brunches on weekends.

Construction starts shortly. Best case scenario: they are out of the original Chambar space in May and into the new Chambar a month later.

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

Postcards From The Crazy Trans-America Trail From Chambar Chef Nico Schuermans

September 22, 2011 

What does any right thinking chef do after opening three successful businesses in six years and becoming a father, twice? He grabs his motorcycle and leaves, of course (well, if only for a while).

We usually do enough field trips on Scout, but Karri Schuermans, wife and partner of chef Nico Schuermans (think Beatty St.’s Chambar, Medina, Dirty Apron) sent in these envy-inducing photos of Nico and his good friend Jesse Keefer (of the awesome Bodega Ridge on Galiano Island) riding the famously grueling Trans-America trail, which starts in northeastern Tennessee and ends at the Pacific at the bottom of Oregon. As a big fan of the Long Way Round films (and Nico and Jesse), I can only imagine how awesome it has been for them. The trail is over 4,800 miles of mostly off-road riding, so it’s quite different from the relative coziness of a Route 66. According to Karri – who has been getting updates and snapshots from the road – their travels have included a lot of dirt and great people (save for some Uncle Daddy weirdness in Mississippi). Nico t-boned a cow on his bike (both were fine) and had to tow Jesse for a while after his clutch broke, but beyond that, they’ve endured a lot of amazing scenery and had a wonderful time. They hit Oregon yesterday and are ecstatic to have real coffee for a change. Karri reports that “they may make it back tonight if the weather holds up, and are looking forward to a great meal and beers!” We hope the last of their journey is a safe one, and welcome both of them home.

GOODS: Beatty St. Icon “Chambar” Seeking FT Pastry Chef And PT Pastry Assistant

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Chambar is located at 562 Beatty St. in Vancouver's Crosstown neighbourhood | 604-879-7119 | www.chambar.com

Job posting from GOODS member Chambar

Vancouver, BC | Chambar Belgian Restaurant is currently looking to hire a full time pastry chef and a part time pastry assistant.  Applicants must have at least one year experience in fine dining. Please apply in person between the hours of 2 to 4:30pm or send your resume to eleanor [at] chambar [dot com]. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more

Chambar & Siblings Win Big in Georgia Straight Reader Poll

September 26, 2010 

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Chambar is located at 562 Beatty St. in Vancouver's Crosstown neighbourhood | 604-879-7119 | www.chambar.com

News from Scout supporter Chambar

Vancouver, BC | The people have spoken. For the 15th Annual Best of Vancouver issue, Georgia Straight readers have voted Beatty Street’s culinary row as their favourite stop, day and night, for all things food and drink. Evening hotspot Chambar Restaurant took first place as the city’s Best Independent Restaurant, with daytime counterpart Café Medina awarded as the definitive destination for Best Brunch, and neighbouring culinary playground, The Dirty Apron lauded as Vancouver’s Best Cooking School.

Karri and Nico Schuermans have been entertaining a packed house since opening the doors to Chambar back in 2004. Three years later, their casual approach to offering the finer points of food, wine and service translated into Chambar’s daytime counterpart, Café Medina. Partnering with long time employee, Robbie Kane, the stylish cafe became renowned citywide for its eclectic menus, incredible coffee and tempting Belgian waffles. Never content to rest on their laurels, the Schuermans opened The Dirty Apron Cooking School in 2009 with Chambar’s then sous chef, David Robertson. An instant hit, the culinary playground continues to teach gourmets and toast burners alike the tricks of the trade. Set to open in October, The Dirty Apron Delicatessen will cater to those wishing to align convenience with at-home gourmet. Read more

Chambar’s Take On A Copycat Restaurant Opened In Shanghai

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This is a goodie. From Chambar’s new website comes news that a rather enterprising fellow named Fissal Oubida has decided to open a Chambar Belgian Bistro of his own in Shanghai, China, without consultation. Chambar’s response is a little tongue and cheek, but their more than justified annoyance comes across loud and clear.

We’d like to offer our assistance with your menu, which aside from the mussels is getting repeatedly slagged on shanghai blog sites. Although this blogging phenomenon by self proclaimed food critics and possibly sex deprived individuals (why else would you be posting these comments at 2am) are not always complimentary, there are some great people who are genuinely passionate about food. Anyways, feel free to peruse the menu section of our website as it’s continually changing and an easy way for the conceptually challenged to get new ideas.

Please switch to using sustainable seafood, we know this is not a priority in China, considering they’re still serving shark fin soup – but give the our oceans a break will you.

We would strongly advise against serving half waffles (give people the whole damn thing) and DO NOT top with spray can cream and chocolate out of a tube!!

Ditch the gingham table cloths, Belgium has no alpine chalets & Heidi is not from
this country – although there are some hot blondes.

If you are going to advertise a url (www.cham-bar.com) you may want to register it first. Now that we own it, it points to this news page which exposes your blatant incompetence for being original.

If you are going to blatantly steal our logo, which took owner & designer Karri Schuermans about 100 hours to create old school typography style, please don’t insult her further by adding brush script text below it, and definitely don’t add photoshop glow filters – please, this is graphic blasphemy.

It was nice of you to be a patron of Chambar while you lived in Vancouver. We hope all our guests take home a wonderful experience – but not the name, logo and concept. Granted a Belgian style restaurant is by no means an original concept, it helps to have a Belgian chef as good as Nico Schuermans. Don’t get us wrong, we take no ownership of the cuisine from this small country (with a big beer list) that many can’t locate on a map.

Be sure to take legal letters that arrive in the mail quite seriously, especially the ones stating that the ‘Chambar’ name and logo you’ve used are already registered in China. Take this from someone’s foresight, which has now become your hindsight.

What a goof.

Chambar To Celebrate “National Belgian Day” in Medieval Style

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Chambar is located at 562 Beatty St. in Vancouver's Crosstown neighbourhood | 604-879-7119 | www.chambar.com

News from Scout supporter Chambar

Vancouver, BC | Join Chambar restaurant on Wednesday, July 21st to celebrate National Belgian Day with a feast fit for kings. History buffs will recognize this national holiday as a day that marks Leopold I taking the constitutional oath as the first King of Belgium on July 21st, 1831.

For one night only, Chambar will celebrate this momentous occasion medieval style with communal tables loaded with platters of meat, seafood and of course, Belgian beers. Outside on Beatty Street, Chef Nico Schuermans will be roasting a pig on a spit, while inside Chambar staff will serve beers by the glass or the metre. Guests should note that due to the medieval nature of this celebration, eating is going to be a hands-on experience only. Please note that vegetarian options and cutlery will not be available. Costumes and furs are deemed festive, but not essential. Get ready to be a little debaucherous… Read more

Chambar Takes Home Gold At The Van Mag Restaurant Awards

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Chambar is located at 562 Beatty St. in Vancouver's Crosstown neighbourhood | 604-879-7119 | www.chambar.com

News from Scout supporter Chambar

Vancouver, BC | Chambar Restaurant was recognized on several fronts at the Vancouver Magazine 21st Annual Restaurant Awards. The Beatty Street sensation was awarded Gold for Best Other European, with Pastry Chef Eleanor Chow receiving an honourable mention for Best Desserts and Wendy McGuinness’ bar program given an honourable mention for Best Bar/Lounge. In addition, Chambar’s Guest Relations guru Eryn Collins was honoured with a Premier Cru award for her outstanding contribution to Vancouver’s hospitality industry over the past 10 years.

“There is an incredible amount of talent and ambition in Vancouver right now,” says Chambar owner Karri Schuermans, “it’s wonderful to have so many members of the Chambar family recognized for their extraordinary efforts and achievements.” Read more

Chambar To Celebrate Craft Beer Week With Special Dinner

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The award-winning Chambar is located at 562 Beatty St. in Vancouver | 604-879-7119 | www.chambar.com

News from Scout supporter Chambar

Vancouver, BC | In celebration of Vancouver’s inaugural Craft Beer Week Beatty Street’s Belgian sensation, Chambar Restaurant, will be putting on a five-course meal steeped in beer and paired with authentic Belgian brews including the restaurant’s own Chambar Ale. Being held on Tuesday, May 11th at 7:30pm, the dinner will be led by Chambar Bar Manager Wendy McGuinness and Chef Nico Schuermans. Tickets are priced at $100 (excluding tax and gratuity) per person. The full menu is available below after the jump… Read more

12 Minutes With Chambar & Cafe Medina Chef Nico Schuermans…

For our 65th interview on Scout, we sat down with Nico Schuermans, co-owner and chef at Chambar and Cafe Medina. Enjoy.

OTHER PERSONS OF INTEREST

Dinner & Drinks On The House At Chambar For Canuck Medalists

February 19, 2010 

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Award Winning Cuisine for Award Winning Athletes at Beatty Street's Chambar

News from Scout supporter Chambar

Vancouver, BC | Beatty Street’s hot spot, Chambar Restaurant, will congratulate Canadian 2010 Olympic Winter Game medalists with a celebratory dinner for them and a guest on the house. Owners Nico and Karri Schuermans want to recognize the accomplishments of Canadian podium-bound athletes by offering them an evening to indulge in Chambar’s award-winning menus, service, atmosphere, and perhaps a little civilized debauchery. Read more

Chambar Highlighting Work Of Vancouver Artists During Games

February 14, 2010 

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EAT, ART, AFTER DARK | Chambar is located at 562 Beatty St. in Vancouver | 604-879-7119 | www.chambar.com

News from Scout supporter Chambar

Vancouver, BC | Chambar restaurant will feature the work of two Vancouver artists during the Olympics, with the intention of sharing with the world some of the fantastic young artistic talent that the city has to offer. With Chambar’s close proximity to BC Place and Canada Hockey Place, thousands of Olympic visitors will have the opportunity to view local artwork as they dine on fresh BC mussels and chef Nico Schuerman’s Belgian inspired cuisine.

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Josh Van Dyke turns retired skate decks into hunting trophies

Chambar owner Karri Schuermans has maintained a commitment to the arts community since she and husband Nico opened the Beatty Street restaurant five years ago. “It has been important for us to use Chambar as a place for guests to explore the dynamism of Vancouver, not just on their plate, but through their entire dining experience.” Schuermans typically rotates exhibitions in the restaurant every four to six weeks. Running for the duration of the Olympics, the sculptural work of Josh Van Dyke and large format resin paintings by George Vergette will adorn the restaurant’s heritage brick walls. Read more

Café Medina OPENS TAKE-OUT WINDOW IN TIME FOR OLYMPIC LINES

February 5, 2010 

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Crosstown's Cafe Medina aims to provide "sweet sustenance for those on the move" during the Games

News from Scout supporter Cafe Medina

Vancouver BC | Olympic game goers and Vancouverites alike will be pleased to know that Café Medina’s mouth-watering waffles and connoisseur-savvy coffees will be available at the café’s new take-out window.

Located at the entrance of the café, the take-out window has been implemented in response to the influx of people that will be using Beatty Street as a thoroughfare during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Sure to be a welcome addition to a neighbourhood that will soon be bustling with foot traffic, the new take-out window will cater to passersby looking to lounge in between destinations or those hoping to grab a little sweet sustenance while on the move. Read more

The Commitment-Free New Years Eve Experience At Chambar

December 17, 2009 

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At Chambar, check commitment at the door and celebrate New Year’s Eve any way you want to...

News from Scout supporter Chambar

Vancouver, BC | Chambar Restaurant is letting you call the shots this New Year’s Eve. Recently appointed GM Sebastien Lagors has opened the books and will be accepting NYE reservations from 5:00PM until 10:00PM eschewing the usual practice of set menus and scheduled seatings. On December 31st, revelers will be able to enjoy Chambar the way they want to, on a night reserved for good friends, good food, and of course, a healthy dose of bubbly. Read more

Chambar Lands Vets Sebastien Lagors And Robert Stelmachuk

December 6, 2009 

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Chambar appoints new front of house leaders, GM Sebastien Lagors and Sommelier Robert Stelmachuk

News from Scout supporter Chambar

Vancouver, BC | Chambar Restaurant is thrilled to announce the addition of two industry leaders to the front of house team: GM Sebastien Lagors and Sommelier Robert Stelmachuk. Following the celebration of their five-year anniversary in September, Chambar continues to grow. “Our goal has always been to elevate and evolve the experience at Chambar,” says owner Karri Schuermans, “with a young family and recent expansions of Café Medina, The Dirty Apron Cooking School and Chambar Ale, we’re excited to expand our team. We believe Sebastien and Robert have the dedication and ambition to enhance the Chambar experience.” Read more

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