OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS | “The Portside” In Gastown Looking To Fill Several Positions

March 17, 2014 

The Portside Pub is located at 7 Alexander Street, Vancouver, BC | 604.559.6333 | www.theportsidepub.com

The Portside Pub is located at 7 Alexander Street, Vancouver, BC | 604.559.6333 | www.theportsidepub.com

The GOODS from The Portside

Vancouver, BC | The Portside Pub, located at 7 Alexander in Gastown, is looking to fill positions in every aspect to facilitate the launch of their brand new maritime-influenced menu and their extension of hours. Think you’re up for it? If you are, you have a minimum of 5 years experience in bars/restaurants, you must be friendly beyond belief, self motivated, organized and ready to hustle. Craft beer knowledge is a definite asset that we’ll be looking for. If you feel like you’d be a good fit, send your resume to info[at]theportsidepub.com. Learn more about The Portside Pub after the jump… Read more

Downtown Eastside

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DTES Ovaltine CafeOpenheimer Park, DTESNeighbourhood CouncilTed Harris Paint, DTES, E HastingsCommunity Gardens Hawkes and E HastingsPatOld Salvation Army Building, DTES

The Downtown Eastside (DTES) is a catch all descriptor for the neighbourhoods east of Cambie, west of Clark, north of Prior, and south of the waterfront. Technically, it includes Gastown, Strathcona, Chinatown, and Railtown/Japantown, but we’ve separated each of these for their individual characters and are treating the DTES here much as the zeitgeist does: as the slowly shrinking collection of blocks east of Carrall, west of Jackson, north of Pender, and south of Cordova. If you have a different interpretation of the landscape and its borders, good for you!

Sadly, it’s safe to say that most Canadian’s view the DTES as less as a community and more of a sensational eyesore; an urban blight box crammed with a loose association of kid-gloved petty criminals, dealers, addicts, and people with mental health issues operating in and around bed bug-infested Single Room Occupancy hotels, daily dodging a very real minefield of violence and disease in often third world living conditions.

That might appear to be superficially true, but the reality is a lot more complicated and nuanced. The DTES is not, for example, “Canada’s poorest postal code”, as it is so often claimed. Neither is it Vancouver’s most transient neighbourhood (that distinction goes to the West End). And if you ask a resident if they feel like they belong to a genuine community, the answer will be a resounding “yes”.

A fierce sense of belonging would naturally coalesce and strengthen in any neighbourhood that was so institutionally demonized, referred to constantly from within and without as “a huge problem”. By policing it in a petty and punitive fashion, insulting it passive aggressively (or fully in the face), trying to price its residents out, or even pretending that it doesn’t exist, the people who see it as an abomination (or rather as a financial opportunity) have only made the community more suspicious of (and resistant to) change.

To wit, “The Downtown Eastside needs to be destroyed,” an editorial in The Province newspaper has declared. “The more residents who are pushed out, the better. It is unconscionable that such a hellhole should exist in a province as wealthy as B.C., in a country as advanced as Canada.” Now, if someone wrote that kind of trash about you and where you lived, you’d likely get your back up, too. Because not everyone who lives on the DTES fits the hysterical stereotype, and those that do are not so bereft of humanity as to not notice when someone tries to rob them of what little humanity they have left.

Indeed, if there’s anything to celebrate on the DTES, it’s that in spite of the high instance of mental illness; homelessness; the AIDS and Hepatitis C epidemics; heroin, crack cocaine, and crystal meth; a long and horrifying history of sexual abuse (before Robert Pickton, violence against First Nations women was treated as a fact of life on the DTES); and the way in which the rest of the city – not to mention the provincial and federal governments – views it through the prism of a largely unsympathetic corporate media; the DTES remains a strong, vibrant, and essential facet of Vancouver that – to its eternal credit – isn’t afraid to stand up for itself.

While other neighbourhoods protest against comparatively first-world affronts like bike lines, casinosart installations, high rises, and funeral homes, residents of the DTES’ dwindling core demonstrate for vital services and in opposition to real or perceived threats against their ability to remain residents. They don’t always protest wisely (targeting small businesses is a nonsensical exercise in quixotic futility), but that they organize and advance a message that needs to be heard by all citizens despite often crippling circumstances is as commendable as it is all too often tragically ignored.

Looking around the DTES today it’s sometimes hard to imagine that it was the beating heart of Vancouver less than a century ago. The banks, the newspapers, the courts, even City Hall once called it home. But while it’s important to remember that the neighbourhood wasn’t always as it is now, romancing the DTES’ past or speculating on its future belittles a present crisis that doesn’t have much in the way of room for halcyon reminiscences or high hopes. The area needs help, and it needs help now; help that new condos and businesses can’t directly give. It requires assistance from the provincial and federal governments in the form of new, affordable housing, a long overdue increase to the welfare shelter allowance of $375 per month (there has only been only one increase since 1992), the non-politicization of harm reduction programs, and – in a hurry – a serious approach to mental health care that includes new facilities, preferably located in whichever affluent neighbourhood complains about them the most.

Change on the DTES is a good thing, and we’re all for it, just so long as the people who live there can continue to call it home.

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Left to right: Pat’s Lager at Pat’s Pub in the Patricia Hotel; Victorian era purple/blue glass basement prisms; Ovaltine Cafe neon tri-colour; the grass of Oppenheimer Park; Carnegie Community Centre; duo of road colours at Main & Hastings; No. 5 Orange; dormant Salvation Army building exterior at Gore & Main; VPD blue; needle tip orange.

here-you-will-find

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INSITE, THE CONTROVERSIAL BUT LIFE-SAVING SAFE INJECTION SITE
THE SAD, FORLORN EMPTY SHELLS OF THE ONLY AND THE LOGGER’S SOCIAL CLUB
THE RAMP CAM AT THE SMILING BUDDHA SKATEPARK
A COMPETITIVE MARKET FOR STREET CIGARETTES
THE GOOD WORKS OF THE PORTLAND HOTEL SOCIETY
THE INCOMPARABLE INTERIOR OF THE OVALTINE CAFE
BARGAIN HUNTERS COMBING THE PIGEON PARK STREET MARKET
THE CRUEL AND UNUSUAL ASSHOLERY OF SOME OF THE STREET-LEVEL DRUG DEALERS
A NETWORK OF ALLEYWAYS THAT ARE BEST AVOIDED
SWEET DUDS AT COMMUNITY & THE FROCK SHOPPE
OLD, RESPECTFUL GUYS WHO YELL “KIDS ON THE BLOCK” WHENEVER PEOPLE WALK PAST WITH CHILDREN

what-to-eat-and-drink

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KOREAN PANCAKES AT THE DUNLEVY SNACKBAR
CHICKPEA BURGERS AND KALE CAESARS AT RAINIER PROVISIONS
BEEF DIP SANDWICHES AND HOUSE LAGER AT PAT’S PUB
BEAN TO BAR AND CUP CHOCOLATE & COFFEE AT EAST VAN ROASTERS
GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES AT THE OVALTINE CAFE
AVO ON TOAST WITH EARL GREY TEA AT NELSON THE SEAGULL
JERK FRIES & RUM FLIGHTS AT CALABASH
PRETZEL SAMBOS & BEER FLIGHTS AT BITTER TASTING ROOM
CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE AWFUL AWFUL AT SAVE ON MEATS
CRISPY CHICKEN W/ FRIED RICE AND THE VEGGIE PHO AT HANOI PHO
CHICKEN WINGS & VITELLO TONNATO AT PIDGIN

cool-things-of-note

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- In 1917, the Food Floor in Woodwards at Hastings & Abbott was the largest of its kind in the world.

- Vancouver’s City Hall was formerly located next to Carnegie Centre at Main and Hastings.

- The bell at St. James’ Church (then on Powell and Main) was, for many, the warning siren of the Great Fire in 1886; the melted remnants can be found at the Vancouver Museum.

- The First Nations name for Crab Park (Portside) is Lucklucky, meaning “Grove of Beautiful Trees”. The name “Crab” originates from the Create a Real Available Beach (CRAB) initiative by DTES residents in the early 1980s.

- In 1989 Vancouver launched North America’s first needle exchange program in an effort to promote harm reduction for residents of the Downtown Eastside. In 2003 North America’s only legal supervised injection site, Insite, was founded.

- The multi-height, 45 ft. wide half-pipe at the Smiling Buddha was built using the bones of several historic Vancouver skate ramps, including the original Richmond Skate Ranch and the Expo ’86 vert ramp.

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DINER | Gastown’s Much-Loved “Boneta” To End On High Note, Close After December 23

November 25, 2013 

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by Andrew Morrison | Douglas Adams once wrote: “Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news.” Too right. I expect that word of Boneta’s closing next month will reach far and wide and fast before you finish reading this.

It’s official: the award-winning Gastown eatery from Mark Brand and Neil Ingram will shutter for good after a final service scheduled for December 23rd. Though it’s not listed for sale yet, I’ve been told that Brand and Ingram are already in discussions with more than one interested party and that they have no plans to reopen the restaurant after the Christmas holidays.

Management were told of the decision to close before the weekend. The remainder of the staff were told late this afternoon.

Boneta, named after Brand’s mother, launched at its former location, 1 West Cordova St., in July of 2007. It moved a stone’s throw away to its current location in The Garage development four years later in September of 2011.

Its highly idiosyncratic French-West Coast food concept stayed true through four chefs. The first was Jeremie Bastien, a former sous chef from Lumiere. He was followed by Jason Leizert and Ciaran Chung, and finally the talented Jeff MacIntosh (I expect he’ll pop up elsewhere soon). The cuisine successfully hovered in that hard-to-nail nether region between casual and fine dining. So did the service. The atmosphere, however, was invariably casual. As a favourite hang-out for gourmands at rest (it was the unofficial headquarters of restaurant industry veterans on their nights off), it will be sorely missed.

Business, I’m told, has been good, and being a regular customer myself, I didn’t find that hard to believe. The bar remains a magnet for cocktail lovers, the dining room always looks busy, and it’s long been a popular venue for large parties and corporate functions. Few restaurants in the city garner greater respect than Boneta. So why close now?

“We sat down and looked at where the dining scene was going and decided to get out on top,” Brand tells me. He also sees the move as a much needed chance to concentrate on his other projects, among them Portside, Sea Monstr Sushi, The Diamond and, of course, the big renovation of Save On Meats. For Ingram, it’s a little different. “This is my mid-life crisis,” the 47 year old says with a laugh. “Some people buy a sports car. I’m selling a restaurant. I want a change.” Will we see Ingram open another restaurant somewhere down the road? I expect so. The longer he takes a holiday the worse off our restaurant scene will be.

They might be happy and excited for the change, but I don’t share their enthusiasm, at least not yet. I think this sucks, straight up. It’s as hard to imagine Gastown without a Boneta in 2014 as it was difficult to imagine Gastown with a Boneta in 2007.

To say that a lot has changed in the neighbourhood in those seven years would be a spectacular understatement. Boneta’s success and popularity showed that it was possible to do something a little (or a lot) more elevated than your basic tourist trap or pub in the neighbourhood, and I can’t help but wonder if any of the newer restaurants – L’Abattoir, Cork & Fin, Secret Location, House Guest, Pourhouse, et cetera – would have dared open in these parts if Boneta had not first blazed the trail. Perhaps the old Latin logical fallacy of Post hoc ergo propter hoc (After this, therefore, because of this) actually works in this regard.

Like so many other restaurants, Boneta was conceived over after-work drinks between the original trio of Brand, Ingram, and Andre McGillivray. Brand was working at Chambar with McGillivray at the time, and McGillivray knew Ingram when they were together at Feenie’s and Lumiere.

According to Ingram, the restaurant came about – conceptually – as the three of them kvetched about their respective places of employment. Over pints, they would pine and lament, saying things like “I wish my restaurant was a little more like yours“. The trio amounted to something of a dream team. “The only thing that could have made it better,” Ingram half jokes, “is if we’d pulled someone out of Vij’s”.

Together, they were aiming for something that was a little like Feenie’s, a little like Lumiere, and a little like Chambar, but entirely their own. Their choice of location was a risky one, as 1 West Cordova had just finished chewing up three different restaurants in as many years. What’s more, they only had a one year lease. I remember how they built the place. It was with their bare hands.

BONETA OVER THE YEARS

Construction of the original Boneta with Neil Ingram, Andre McGillivray, and Jeremie BastienNeil Ingram attends to his many chargesIMG_2685Neil Ingram pours a glass at Boneta (now closed)Bobby Kay sees something she likes at BonetaBoneta HalibutBonetaBonetaThe Last Days of the original BonetaBonetaTrevor Kallies of The Granville Room and Bobbi K of Boneta face offIMG_2654Simon Kaulback of Boneta pours for his Kentucky High KickBobbi K of Boneta tastes her Maker's BarkBonetaBonetaA friend at Boneta prepares with a beer goggle straw..IMG_1593BonetaHard at work readying the new bar at Boneta for the arrival of its old topBonetaChef Jason Leizert at BonetaSimon directing traffic at BonetaNeil pours Torres at BonetaBoneta bar detailThe old Boneta. Funny how they got through 4 years in Gastown without a broken window and then someone puts their first through one just four days after they close!The paper is up at the old BonetaThe crowd gathers at Boneta

The rest is history. In a story I wrote for Vancouver Magazine several years ago, I quoted a restaurant lifer who, in comparing the $8 million price tag of David Aisenstat’s Shore Club (now closed) to the less than $100,000 spent to launch Boneta, said: “For eight million, I would have preferred 80 Bonetas.” Who wouldn’t?

Boneta has won over a dozen coveted awards since opening, even landing a spot on enRoute Magazine’s 10 Best New Restaurants list in 2008. These accolades and achievements were earned and shared by a great staff. Today’s fine crew – led by Ben de Champlain (who actually got his start in the kitchen) – compliment some first tier alumni. To wit, Chad Clark, now the general manager at Hawksworth, was a member of Boneta’s opening team; Rodney Scharf managed the floor before moving on to run Cork & Fin; Simon Kaulback, now co-owner at Mamie Taylor’s in Chinatown, was a fixture for several years, moving up from barman to general manager; Justin Tisdall, now the GM at Chambar, also toiled behind the bar early on, as did Steve Da Cruz, who went on to open the Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe in 2009 (with McGillivray) before opening The Parker in 2012 with ex-Boneta chef Jason Leizert. And who can forget Charlie Ainsbury? Amazingly, between Scout and Vancouver Magazine, Boneta has counted three Bartenders of the Year behind its wood and well (Brand, Kaulback, de Champlain), while Ingram, let it not be forgotten, was once crowned Sommelier of the Year. But who’s counting?

Like I said up top, it’s hard to imagine Gastown without Boneta. I’m going to miss it terribly; the excellent art by Charles Forsberg and Johnny Taylor, the tossing of spent corks behind the bar (in the thousands), and the oddly-shaped brass pole at the end of the bar that thousands of strippers once used to help them climb up and down the stage (salvaged from The Drake). But most of all I’m going to miss the feeling upon entry that I was home. That’s a pretty rare and special feeling, and I know it was felt by many.

The restaurant’s motto - BONETA LOVES YOU – never felt the least bit false. With a few weeks remaining, there’s still time to reciprocate.

Boneta, I love you, too.

DINER | “Save On Meats” Pop-Up Opening This Friday At 1 West Cordova In Gastown

September 11, 2013 

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by Andrew Morrison | As you’ve likely already heard, the Save On Meats operation is being downsized. With the new landlord, they’ve lost the commissary kitchen on the second floor, so they’re renovating the diner for the next three months to make the existing first floor kitchen space (and butcher shop) work. In the interim, regulars are invited to check out a Save On Meats pop-up in the No. 1 Noodle House location at 1 West Cordova. We’ve confirmed that – unfortunately – No. 1 won’t be coming back to the space (but it could pop-up in a smaller space elsewhere somewhere else).

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The new Save On Meats pop-up will act as a test kitchen for perfecting the revamped eatery’s new menu. They’ll be launching with a new meatball sandwich on the weekly menu, for example, and taking comments from customers until they perfect the recipe. Burgers will be the same ‘Save On’ slap burgers, but with a long list of add-ons like grilled cheese sandwich bun, hot dogs, deep fried perogies, and so on. Take a look at the menu below…

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Owner Mark Brand has retained the core staff, including Save On’s “barrier” program employees. The pop-up – which officially opens this Friday – will be open for brunch, lunch and dinner.

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

The Portside Pub

August 20, 2013 

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DETAILS

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7 Alexander Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 1E9
Phone: 604.559.6333 | Email: info@theportsidepub.com
Web: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Mon – Thu: 05:00 PM – 02:00 AM
Fri: 04:00 PM – 03:00 AM
Sat: 05:00 PM – 03:00 AM
Sun: 05:00 PM – 02:00 AM

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The People

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Owner: Mark Brand
General Manager: Andrew Flynn
Chefs: Tyrel Shaw and Elliott Hashimoto

About The Portside Pub

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Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, the Portside Pub is Gastown’s newest watering hole and live music venue. The historic, three-level, Portside Pub located at 7 Alexander Street has been built with the traditional east coast pub culture as its inspiration. The result: a comfortable and affordable place for people to gather and enjoy good music and a great pint.

Portside is the latest undertaking by entrepreneur Mark Brand, owner of Save On Meats. In renovating the old Post Modern space, Brand set out to celebrate the beauty of the original historic Gastown building. Sandblasted walls and old exposed brick and timbers are juxtaposed with some of the latest technology in beer drinking. One of only a few medium sized venues in the city, Brand hopes it will be a new hub for the local music scene.

Originally from the east coast, Brand grew up with a strong pub culture which he feels is lacking in Vancouver. By bringing in long-time friend and colleague Andrew Flynn as general manager, he hopes to change the scene. A Newfoundlander, with a 15-year background in bartending from Killarney, Ireland, Flynn knows what real pub culture is all about.

“Pubs are a connecting place for people within a community. Our vision is to make Portside the friendliest pub in Vancouver, where anyone and everyone feels at home. Simply put, Portside will be all about craft beer, local music, and a great atmosphere,” says owner Mark Brand.

DINER: First Look Inside The “No. 1 Noodle House” Pop-Up In The Old Boneta Address

The much anticipated No. 1 Noodle House pop-up restaurant at 1 West Cordova opened its doors tonight for their soft opening. Scout broke the news of its imminence a month ago. Some context:

Restaurateur Mark Brand (Save On Meats, Boneta, etc.) has joined forces with first timers Tyrell Shaw, Lindsay Lapierre, Matt MacDougall, and Alex Usow (his Sharks + Hammers, Sea Monstr Sushi partner) to open No. 1 Noodle House in the old 1 West Cordova address (the original Boneta spot at Carrall and Cordova in Gastown).

It’s basically a big ramen joint. They’ve been researching the hell out of broths and are now onto noodles (heading to LA on a ramen spree next week). The menu will be small – just three ramens (soy, pork, maybe chicken), fried chicken wings, bao buns, salads and Banh Mi sandwiches – with a small beer, sake and spirits component.

The place will be geared towards the chefs who work on the line all night and then don’t have many options for food and drink when they clock out. No. 1 Noodle House might stay open until as late as 4am, with a capacity for 75-90 people. Guest chefs will also regularly moonlight to create specialty dishes of their own.

Right now, the concept is for a 7 month pop-up, which Brand describes as a “business incubator”. If it works, they might stay or move somewhere else. Opening day is scheduled for late April or early May.

Items on the very short lunch and dinner menus include bowls of ramen ($9.50), banh mi sammy’s ($7.50), bao buns with fried chicken and kimchi ($7.50), and pork spring rolls ($7.75). Nothing is over $10. The room looks rough and ready, with communal picnic tables fronting the giant hood vent (complete with stenciled cobras emerging from ramen bowls) and all of the mirrors that used to hang from the ceiling back in the Boneta days now decorating the walls. Take a look for yourselves over the weekend and let us know what you think.

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

SEEN IN VANCOUVER #436: Save On Meats Replacing Stolen Sign With Food Campaign

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.

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

DINER: Big Ramen Pop-Up “No. 1 Noodle House” Destined For Original Boneta Space

by Andrew Morrison | Restaurateur Mark Brand (Save On Meats, Boneta, etc.) has joined forces with first timers Tyrell Shaw, Lindsay Lapierre, Matt MacDougall, and Alex Usow (his Sharks + Hammers, Sea Monstr Sushi partner) to open No. 1 Noodle House in the old 1 West Cordova address (the original Boneta spot at Carrall and Cordova in Gastown).

It’s basically a big ramen joint. They’ve been researching the hell out of broths and are now onto noodles (heading to LA on a ramen spree next week). The menu will be small – just three ramens (soy, pork, maybe chicken), fried chicken wings, bao buns, salads and Banh Mi sandwiches – with a small beer, sake and spirits component.

The place will be geared towards the chefs who work on the line all night and then don’t have many options for food and drink when they clock out. No. 1 Noodle House might stay open until as late as 4am, with a capacity for 75-90 people. Guest chefs will also regularly moonlight to create specialty dishes of their own.

Right now, the concept is for a 7 month pop-up, which Brand describes as a “business incubator”. If it works, they might stay or move somewhere else. Opening day is scheduled for late April or early May.

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

VANCOUVER LEXICON | Brand, Mark

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Brand, Mark | Person | A barman-turned-businessman who went from making cocktails at Chambar to co-owning an art gallery (Catalog), a bar (Portside), a shop (Sharks + Hammers), a brewery (Persephone), and a number of eateries (Boneta, Save On Meats, Sea Monstr Sushi). All of his businesses are located within the Downtown Eastside, except for his brewery, which is located in Gibsons, BC.

Usage | “I heard Brand was opening another place in Gastown…”

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CITY BRIEFS: Annual TED Conference To Leave Long Beach For Vancouver In 2014

February 4, 2013 

TED is moving to Vancouver, perhaps permanently. Since its beginnings in 1984, the annual technology/design conference – best known for its fascinating “talks” and interviews – has been based in Long Beach, California. The news that it is upping sticks and moving north to our fair shore (with its 2000 or so delegates) comes as a happy surprise.

Mark Brand says it best above as he walks on stage: Wow.

In 2014, TED will celebrate our 30th anniversary. And to mark this spectacular event, we’re planning something very special. We are moving our annual West Coast conference from Long Beach, California, to Vancouver, Canada. From March 17 to March 21, 2014, TED will be held in this great city, which boasts a thriving spirit of innovation as well as stunning views — the harbor and mountains in the same scenic vistas.

Read the good news here.

DINER: Mark Brand’s “Portside” Pub To Be Unveiled In Gastown Tonight (SEE INSIDE)

January 27, 2013 

by Andrew Morrison | Mark Brand’s much anticipated new Gastown pub, Portside, is set to open this evening at 7 Alexander Street. There will be a media preview starting at 7pm and then the doors open at 1opm. Rich Hope will be the first local musician to take the stage, and then a couple of DJs will take over. I was in late last night to sneak a peek and raise the first glass of Champagne (Brand having sabred the first bottle with a short order fry-flipper). Everything that needed to be in place looked to be in place, including a ceiling-suspended clawfoot bathtub with four taps dispensing whisky, a drop down screen for hockey games, a keg room with a custom-made door locked by a spinning wheel (nautical-style), high top tables planked with either Douglas Fir or reclaimed floorboards from an old Jazz club in Yaletown, and more beer taps than I cared to count. The coolest thing? Several former Waldorf staffers are on the clock, including – I’m told – all the nice folks who always worked the door.

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ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

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Andrew Morrison lives and works in Vancouver as editor-in-chief of Scout, and Culinary Referee & Judge at the Canadian Culinary Championships. He also contributes regularly to a wide range of publications, radio programs, and television shows on local food, culture and travel; collects inexpensive things; and enjoys rare birds, skateboards, cocktails, shoes, good pastas, many songs, and the smell of camp fires.

DINER: Mark Brand Picks Up New Gastown Digs For 120 Seat Craft Beer Bar “Portside”

December 10, 2012 

by Andrew Morrison | Gastown restaurateur/entrepreneur Mark Brand (see also Save On Meats, The Diamond, Sharks + Hammers, Boneta, Catalog Gallery) has picked up the liquor primary space formerly known as Post Modern at 7 Alexander Street (next to Chill Winston). We’ll be sharing all the details once all of his ducks are aligned, but in the meantime you can start looking forward to a three level, 24 tap craft beer bar and live music venue called Portside. It will see some 120 seats and a standing capacity for about 240 people, with a pronounced Halifaxian vibe (the managerial staff being east coast ex-pats). It will be managed by Newfoundland import Andrew Flynn, most recently of Chinatown’s East of Main. Brand says his ultimate goal with the place is to make it “the friendliest pub in Vancouver”. If all goes according to plan, construction will begin in January. We’ll be taking a look inside and detailing the food concept in the coming days, so stay tuned.

PS. What’s in a name? “Portside” comes from Portside Park (the original name of nearby Crab Park).

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

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Andrew Morrison lives and works in Vancouver as editor-in-chief of Scout, food columnist at the Westender, and National Referee & Judge at the Canadian Culinary Championships. He also contributes regularly to a wide range of publications, radio programs, and television shows on local food, culture and travel; collects inexpensive things; and enjoys rare birds, skateboards, cocktails, shoes, good pastas, many songs, and the smell of camp fires.

SEEN IN VANCOUVER #417: New Sandwich Tokens Go On Sale Today At Save On Meats

November 29, 2012 

Save On Meats’ new sandwich tokens go on sale today for $2.25 each. Hats off to the peeps at Odette Visual for making the superb super-short clip above. Nice work all around.

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

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