by Andrew Morrison | When Scout first broke the news about The Fish Counter coming to 3825 Main St. this past June, we were pretty excited. I mean, wow…a fishmongers from Rob Clark and Mike McDermid, the two founders of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program!? What could possibly be better than a sustainability-savvy and doubt-free fish store where the staff knew the fishermen? How about a fish store that not only does all of that but also dresses up the catch and cooks it for you, too.
Yup, there’s a tidy food-service component to The Fish Counter, too. You can choose your battered fish and local Kennebec chips from a list that includes salmon, halibut, ling cod, and oysters. These can be ordered to eat in or take away. Chances are you’ll want to stick around and watch for the first little while, because the guy doing the cooking at the start is none other than Ian Johansen, who is not only the brother of Cpt. Steve Johansen of the good ship Organic Ocean (co-founder of the Spot Prawn Festival), but also a capable cook at Go Fish! on False Creek Fisherman’s Wharf, which is incidentally home to Vancouver’s best fish and chips (for now).
They’ll also be serving three soups – a New England clam chowder without wheat or dairy, a vegan option, and a seafood special soup du jour. We can also expect to see Baha-style fish tacos made with ling cod and “Salmonitos” – a cylindrical, burrito-ish wrap of salmon, slaw and chipotle mayo (nice rice or beans).
On the retail side of things, they’re offering branded/prepared meals like nicoise salad (minus the tuna – you build your own at home with the tuna you buy at the shop), fish cakes. crab cakes, mac and cheese, et cetera, plus prepared seafoods like octopus salad, poached salmon, smoked salmon, candied salmon, and so on. There’s a two-level glass display case for fresh fish, plus boxes for live crabs and lobster that will go online in a few weeks.
This was a hard, long slog for Rob and Mike. The construction was a lot more than I think they both expected (they’re five months past their first “hopefully open by” date), but in the end it looks like they’ve done a fantastic job, even with the little details like the garage window frontage and the octopus carved into the bench. They’re opening “for certain” this Saturday. Hours will probably by 10am to 10pm, but that’s not yet set in stone (“The community will let us know when they need us,” Rob says.) Break a leg, fellas! We wish you the very best of luck!
Our friends over at The Found & The Freed are pairing up with vintage clothing store Hey Jude for a holiday season pop-up of curated antiques and sweet duds at 3088 Main Street. The collaborative awesomeness starts December 7th and runs everyday through to December 21st from 11am to 7pm.
The GOODS from Campagnolo
Vancouver, BC | Campagnolo Restaurant turns 5 years old on Thursday, December 5. To honour the birthday, Campagnolo will be giving away free Crispy Ceci to all tables of 2 or more to complement their order. In 5 years, the Main Street restaurant has sold enough Crispy Ceci to stretch over 40km. That is enough to go around the seawall twice, line the Sun Run 4 times and to reach Crescent Beach from 1020 Main Street. Can’t make it in on Thursday? Don’t worry. You can celebrate at home with our recipe for Crispy Ceci, which you will find after the jump. From our kitchen to yours, grazie… Read more
Dig good coffee? Want to roast your own? You can this Thursday night (December 5th) at the Main St. location of 49th Parallel. They’re offering a special tasting and roasting event to raise funds for the reconstruction of the Eastside Boxing Club. For just $20, attendees get to taste through 49th’s two new limited-edition Holiday Celebration coffees (and munch on the four new festive Lucky’s doughnuts) all while getting coffee sourcing intel from the company’s green coffee buyer, Laura Perry, and learning about roasting from Saša Stojanovic, a member of 49th’s team. At the end of the hour-long session, you will go home with a 100g package of your coffee, not to mention bragging rights and the happy knowledge that you just helped out some local kids that just got the carpet
pulled burned from under them.
There are limited slots available for roasting, but further tickets for just the tasting and educational component are available for $5 each. Two sessions are being offered: 6pm – 7pm, and 7pm – 8pm. Tickets are available via EventBrite here. Don’t snooze on this or you’ll miss it!
Thurs, Dec. 5 | 6pm–7pm, and 7pm–8pm | 49th Parallel Café | 2902 Main St. @ East 13th Ave
Honour Bound details the many cool things that we feel honour bound to check out because they either represent Vancouver exceptionally well or are inherently super awesome in one way or another.
Back in March of this year, the duo of David Duprey and Rachel Zottenburg (of The Rickshaw, The Narrow, and The Emerald) joined forces with the crew that gave us the revamped (but sadly fleeting) Waldorf on East Hastings to pick up the old Fox Cinema at 2321 Main Street (between Antisocial and Still Life). Their hope was to convert the decrepit porn theatre into a licensed entertainment complex for live music shindigs and all around good times. They put in their applications and did their due diligence over the summer, and they’ve just received a positive report back. If/when City Council approves the report’s findings, “The Fox Cabaret” will be allowed to work a dance floor and host live performances while serving booze throughout. The prospect is exciting, even though the space was once thoroughly drenched in the unthinkable gnarl (ugh). They will find out for sure on December 4th. If it’s all good, they hope to launch in January.
by Andrew Morrison | I recently tried out Vancouver’s newest pizzeria, Don’t Argue, on the recommendation of Zulu Report columnist Nic Bragg. The 30 seater (estimate) is located at the very beginning of the Riley Park stretch of Main Street, just a couple of doors down from El Camino’s.
It’s on the stark side of charming in more ways than one. To begin with, they make some very good, uncomplicated pies, tossing the dough discs front and center (as you can see above). They don’t go the authentic Neapolitan VPN route, but it’s pretty close. Diners can expect a firmer-than-VPN crust (no immediate floppery) and a gently acidic tomato sting. If I had to pin them locally, they’re more akin to Pizzeria Farina than anywhere else. They use fiore di latte cheese on their Margherita and the basil is “live” on the line. Pizzas come in small (12″), large (18″), and Calzone, but if you’re just feeling a little peckish or flying solo they always have a few slices at the ready. A very limited but adequate selection of beer and wine makes it easy to choose a tumbler of Red Racer or a Sicilian Nero D’Avola for the win. Dessert is a panna cotta, simple but satisfactory.
There’s nothing to really dislike about the place, save for the first timer’s momentary lack of clarity as to whether or not it’s counter or table service (it’s the former). The prices are fair-ish (their Margherita costs a buck more than at Nicli Antica), and if you’re flummoxed because they don’t have a website or a social media program, tough luck. You’ll have to Tweet your dismay to the echo of their indifference.
The overall design leans a little towards the barren, but not in the modern sense. 1930′s is more like it, a la Norman Rockwell. The jukebox of CDs at the rear of the long room is discordant, but only in its ugliness (the tunes, however, are great). I really dig the seamless train station-style bench seating. Seriously, whoever did the joinery on that one deserves a case of beer.
There’s definitely better pizza in Vancouver, but not this far south on Main. Its closest rival would be Barbarella on East Broadway. If I had to choose between them, I’d choose not to.
3240 Main Street | Vancouver, BC | 604) 876-5408 | Tue-Fri 3pm – 11pm | Sat-Sun 1pm – 11pm
The GOODS from The Acorn
Vancouver, BC | The Acorn is looking for a professional full time server with exceptional experience in a fast-paced upscale dining environment. You will be comfortable waiting tables, serving wine, hosting gracefully under pressure and charming the pants off our customers. Fine dining experience an asset. Strong respect for vegetables a must. You’ll be joining a fun team at an award-winning progressive vegetarian restaurant. E-mail your cover letter and resume to shira [at] theacornrestaurant.ca or apply in person to Shira after 5pm. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from 49th Parallel
Vancouver, BC | Forget the tie for Dad and the soaps for Mom, and give them both something they’ll thank you for every single morning: the gift of coffee. Holiday shoppers can easily order online here or pick up select items at cafes serving 49th Parallel coffee. An annual treat, 49th Parallel’s Holiday Celebration Blend drip coffee is available once again, and is this year joined by a special edition Holiday Celebration Espresso, bringing a festive caffeine fix to mugs across the country. A bag easily works as a stocking stuffer, a Secret Santa gift, a present for your weird hard-to-buy for cousin, or wrapped under the tree for that unexpected Christmas guest. Looking for something more elaborate for the coffee-lovers in your life? The company’s unique Coffee Subscription program keeps giving all year, while gift sets make holiday giving a breeze. Get all the details after the jump… Read more
by Michelle Sproule | The Eastside Culture Crawl (November 15, 16, 17) is now upon us. The annual three day event sees over 425 East Side artists (painters, jewelers, sculptors, textile artists, furniture makers, musicians, weavers, potters, printmakers, photographers, etc.) open their studios to the public.
There is no schedule per se; only the one you choose to structure for yourself. There’s no pressure to buy, either. Treat it as a chance to float from one studio to the next, talking to artists about their processes while enjoying the diversity of creativity that the East Side has to offer.
The Crawl covers the area between Terminal Avenue to Burrard Inlet between Main Street and Victoria Drive (handy map). This year there will be over 425 artists participating and it’s estimated that over 15,000 crawlers will be out to take in what they have to offer. This is precisely the kind of event that calls for a game plan. Here’s ours…
This is the opening of the Crawl and the only opportunity you have for “evening” studio visits (Saturday and Sunday seeing only day-time visits). If you only have one chance to take in the Crawl, let this be it. Wandering around the neighbourhood on a cold, possibly wet night in Fall with thousands of other people looking to squeeze in as much art as they possibly can makes for soaring spirits. Make sure you dress appropriately (forecast suggests it’ll be a few degrees above zero), and do your utmost to be respectful of those who’ve opened their doors to you. If you own a flask, bring it.
Parker Street Studios | 125 Artists
The massive building at 1000 Parker St. is the densest collection of artist studios on the map every year and starting your crawl experience here is essential. Not only is there is something magical about this building on the opening night of the Crawl – the crowds are thick and fast with energy, the studios are full and the artists are ready to chat – but you want to cover as much ground as you can this weekend and Parker Street will give you the solid start that you’re looking for.
Eating & Drinking Before, During, and Afterwards
The intensity of Parker Street makes it difficult to just head out or head home afterwards without sustenance. Chances are you’ll be pumped before, in the midst, and after, and that will make you hungry and thirsty. Chinatown is wise and close by. If there’s room at The Parker, sip on a New Strathcona and snack on something healthy, grab a burger and an Old Fashioned at Mamie Taylor’s on East Georgia between Main and Gore, or slurp up some candied bacon ramen at Harvest Community Foods. Nearby, Ask for Luigi just opened up last night, and Cuchillo recently added a few things to their menu. Plus there’s Campagnolo, Pizzeria Farina, East of Main, The Emerald, The Dunlevy Snackbar, Phnom Penh, and Bao Bei. Just don’t go overboard, as you’ve got a lot of ground to cover tomorrow, too!
SATURDAY MORNING AND AFTERNOON
If you thought Parker Street on Friday night was a mad and exhausting labyrinth, it’s good to remember that the Eastside Culture Crawl is an endurance game, and that it’s only just begun…
Hit the pavement with your trusty Crawl map and explore mid-sized buildings that house several studios at once. Your main targets are The Arc (1701 Powell St., 23 studios), 339 Railway Street (9 studios), Portside Studios (150 McLean Dr, 19 studios), The William Clark Studios (1310 William Street, 31 Studios) and The Mergatroid (975 Vernon, 55 Studios). As you move between buildings and neighbourhoods, look for yellow balloons marking smaller studios in homes, garages and basements (or save that action for Sunday).
It’s important to resist the urge to go non-stop from one studio to the next. You need to eat and drink and you need to do it without going too far off the Crawl track. As you saw higher up in this guide, there plenty of worthwhile joints to check out. Trouble is, most of them are only open at night. Fret not, as there are a few ‘in-crawl-catchment’ choices during daytime. For example, The Wilder Snail in Strathcona will set you up with your morning coffee (and muffin too) and it’s smack-dab in the middle of Crawlville. There’s also Harvest Community Foods on Union, The Union Cafe, Benny’s, and Finch’s.
Bonus: by pure serendipity, there’s a Perogy Lunch taking place at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre on the corner of East Pender and Hawks on Saturday and Sunday. Scoot in to load up of homemade Ukranian food and then get the hell back out there!
SUNDAY MORNING AND AFTERNOON
This is what we call panic day. It’s when you realize you’re running out of Crawl time and you will need to act swiftly if you’re going to score. It’s also the day that you will visit the places you missed but heard about on Friday and Saturday via Twitter and word of mouth. So yeah, it’s the day that you will pick up the pace!
Small Studios & Follow Ups
This is also the day that you will revisit your favourite studios with your fingers crossed hoping that the painting/photograph/sculpture that you didn’t buy on Friday is still there. So don’t waste a minute. Map out a sensible route that includes targets that you haven’t hit yet and get rolling. You won’t see every studio, so don’t rush around like you might. Likewise, if a restaurant is full or there’s not room at the bar, move on. The last thing that the Eastside Culture Crawl is about is stress, disappointment, or the threat of either. Crawl with an open heart and mind, and enjoy the hell out of yourself!
The GOODS from The Shameful Tiki Room
Vancouver, BC | The Shameful Tiki Room on Main St. has unveiled Vancouver’s first and only “Rum Club”. Connoisseurs of the multi-faceted spirit can now take part in a journey around the world of Rum. Just come in, receive your passport and begin! Upon completion of all 50 Rums, you will receive the highly coveted “Honorary Member” shirt. What’s more, a wooden plaque with your name on it will be nailed to our wall to commemorate your feat. Learn more on our Facebook page and after the jump… Read more
by Stevie Wilson | If you live or work in Mount Pleasant – or simply enjoy visits to its plethora of shops and coffee joints – you’ve likely strolled past the towering Heritage Hall on the on the corner of Main and 15th Avenue (either that or you recognize it as a classic X-Files filming location). It’s the neighbourhood’s go-to wedding reception spot in summer, and for the rest of the year it’s home to a number of community events, art collectives, and meetings of all sorts. But enriching all of the Hall’s modern uses is its century-long history, the outline of which we’ll trace today.
The land upon which it sits once belonged to the Federal Government. It was purchased in 1912 to the cool tune of $40,000. The building got its start in 1914 as a civic Post Office. Postal Station “C”, to be exact. It was designed by Englishman Archibald Campbell Hope and lead architect David Ewart. Hope was also responsible for several historic apartments, halls, stores, and other buildings across the Lower Mainland, including Britannia High School and Fort Langley’s imposing Community Hall.
It’s unusual to find such a large, expensive (original cost was $92,000), and elaborate building like this in an area that was, despite being a major thoroughfare, not prime real estate or a commercial hotspot at the time of its construction. In fact, it was among the very few contemporary buildings in the neighbourhood – such as the 1912 Lee Building – that were poised to spur economic growth south into Mount Pleasant from the Gastown area. The commercial tide, however, would take several more decades before it reached the top of the hill.
By 1950, the Beaux-Arts-inspired pile was no longer being used as a Post Office and was operating as the Dominion Agricultural Building. In 1963, a special investigations branch of the RCMP moved in, taking advantage of the office spaces until 1976, when the building fell into disrepair, a mere two years after its “heritage” status had been cemented by the City (the hall was among the first buildings in Vancouver to be officially imbued with historical importance). Both the interior and exterior were in need of significant overhaul.
Heritage Hall was left dormant until 1982, when Main Source – a community group made up of passionate volunteers – rallied to initiate its reconstruction and the development of the site into the multipurpose resource space that it is today. Among its many Edwardian features are a sandstone portrait of King George V on its Main Street facade and a working bell inside a clock tower, which was built by the same company responsible for Big Ben in London. Late Vancouver historian Chuck Davis noted how animal and plant fossils in the interior marble were evident to the naked eye. The interior boasts a 3,300 square foot, French-inspired ballroom that features many re-conceived details, including a large mural, a tile floor, and stained glass chandeliers.
Stevie Wilson is a 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 reveal to readers the many historial things that they already see but might not undertstand.
The GOODS from The Fish Counter
Vancouver, BC | We are looking for passionate, dedicated, and skilled individuals who care as much about local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients as we do. Specifically we care about seafood harvested in a responsible manner that we all can enjoy without putting the future health of our oceans at risk.
We need fish cutters, line cooks, production chefs, and retail service staff. We are looking for people that really want to contribute and make a difference. People with knowledge of sustainable seafood, seafood supply or can help out with our social media – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (and we mean our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!) – will be considered an asset.
We expect you to be enthusiastic, professional, and organized. We are looking for those that are as passionate as we are about learning and conveying responsible environmental choices to the community. We expect you to be adaptable, love to laugh, love good food and people, and want to contribute to a better seafood buying system that is community oriented. We also expect you to think ‘outside the box’ to create a better food experience for our customers. Honesty and transparency is key for us.
For us this is a passion. We believe in what we do and that it is the right thing to do. We also believe that this is the direction that our food systems must take for food security in the future. We are offering the right people to be a part of a truly cutting edge, community-minded, sustainable seafood shop at the ground level. We believe in hiring the right people and taking care of them from day one. We not only commit to train, but expect to learn from the right candidate. The Fish Counter is not about individuals, but a team, and we hope to craft a great team that will help us build something that is more than just a typical job at a typical store. Together we can be greater than the sum of the parts.
If you think you have what it takes to work with us (ask around!) then drop off your resume at the shop. Please include a cover letter explaining why you would be a great fit.
We are at 3825 Main St. at 22nd. Ask for Mike or Robert. We are looking to open first week of December.
The GOODS from 49th Parallel
Vancouver, BC | Interested in seeing a steampunk make your coffee? The 49th Parallel café on Main Street will have an Alpha Dominche steampunk hooked up on Wednesday morning between 9am – 11am. Everyone is welcome to come by and check it out in action. What’s an Alpha Dominche steampunk? A new way of brewing individual cups of drip coffee that’s making its way into serious cafes in the US but, as of yet, you can’t find one in Canada.