by Andrew Morrison | When we recently broke the news about Chambar’s expansion plans, we promised that we’d let you know about the fate of Medina, the dizzyingly popular brunch spot that Chambar is umbilically connected to. First, some background…
Chambar owners Karri and Nico Schuermans launched Medina together with an former employee of theirs, Robbie Kane, almost seven years ago. It was a time when the brunch scene in Vancouver was suffering from broad bouts of ubiquity. Granted, there were a lot of eateries offering brunch back then, but for the most part they adhered hard to the mimosa and benny traditions, which is to say that one could get the same lazy weekend mid-day meal at one restaurant and the next, ad infinitum. Medina was refreshing because it broke through the mold with things like Liege waffles with lavender chocolate and caramel, sizzling fricasee pans of fried eggs with braised short rib, arugula and applewood smoked cheddar (my personal fave), and coffee worthy of a second cup. It didn’t take long for Medina to attract daily line-ups, and soon it expanded to include more seats in a rear dining room. In very short order, it became the most highly recommended brunch spot in the city, a position that it still holds to this day.
So with Chambar moving and expanding their hours to include breakfast and brunch, the fate of Medina was unclear. The lease might be up, but even it wasn’t it would have to close so Nico and Karri wouldn’t have to compete with themselves right next door when they launched Chambar 2.0. But will Medina ever re-open? Of course it will. It’s too successful a brand to be left by the wayside, but it will have to move.
“I just want to tell all our customers that they shouldn’t worry,” Robbie told me over the weekend. “I’m looking for a new location for Medina as we speak, and I’m looking very hard.” Where that will be remains up in the air (we’ll let you know as soon as the deal is signed), but Robbie hopes to have the new Medina open this Spring, roundabout the same time that the old Medina closes.
The GOODS from Cafe Medina
Vancouver BC | Medina Café is hosting a fundraising dinner to raise money for cancer research. Please join us on Tuesday, June 7 to enjoy a six-course Vegetarian tasting menu created by Medina’s chef de cuisine Jason Lee and accompanied by bubbles, beer, and wine. Funds raised will benefit the Relay for Life (Canadian Cancer Society) and Ride to Conquer Cancer (BC Cancer Foundation). Tickets are $75 and the event starts at 6:30 p.m. There are 25 seats available. We hope to see you there! To purchase tickets, stop by Medina Café or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more
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
Owner: Robbie Kane
Executive Chef: Jonathan Chovancek
Sous Chef: Victor Pulleyblank
Manager: Jenna Briscoe
Since opening in 2008, Café Medina has carved out a niche as a truly exceptional breakfast, lunch and weekend-brunch destination that effortlessly blends eclectic bistro fare, connoisseur-savvy coffee and sweet nourishment via the city’s best Belgian waffles.
While the name Medina has many interpretations, it was selected for its connotation to “radiant or enlightened city”. Indeed, this unique café quickly shone as one of the city’s most stylish additions, thanks to owner Robbie Kane’s pioneering attitude towards café culture and distinctive brand of enlightened hospitality — an ideal complement for the café’s instantly memorable, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine by celebrated chef Jonathan Chovancek.
As Kane explains it, Café Medina doesn’t simply serve food — he and his staff pride themselves on feeding the soul of each and every guest and providing them with sustenance in every way, shape and form. It’s this signature Medina mystique that has made the café a Vancouver institution, and is the reason its guests keep returning again and again.
After six years in its original location in Crosstown, Kane moved Café Medina to a bright and spacious new home at 780 Richards Street in August 2014. And while the café’s new location boasts a number of upgrades, Kane has also taken great pains to migrate and preserve the same quaint touches, fine details and old-world charm that made the café such a beloved staple of the local restaurant scene in its former site.
The café’s new quarters not only allow for increased seating capacity, an expanded bar, open kitchen, high ceilings and plenty of natural light, but also provides the opportunity to expand the Medina menu to soon offer dinner service, as well as an evening venue for private functions and special events.