Remembering The Bare Beginnings Of Gastown’s Carolinian BBQ Joint, “Peckinpah”

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by Andrew Morrison | Five yeas ago this week I walked into 2 Water Street in Gastown, the space that Ryan Murfitt and Tyson Reimer would later turn in Peckinpah, a Carolina-style BBQ restaurant. Scout historian-in-residence Stevie Wilson gave us a fascinating lowdown of the old building here, but here’s what I wrote that first afternoon inside the space:

Restaurant builder Ryan Murfitt (Bao Bei, Calabash, and many more) and restaurateur Tyson Reimer (Cobre, Deacon’s Corner) have secured a lease of the ground floor at 2 Water Street. If you’re not familiar with the address it’s the beautiful Italianate-style Byrnes Block (1887) next door to Six Acres. It’s a heck of a corner location, facing out on on both Carrall and Water.

The restaurant will be called Peckinpah, so named after the old (and controversial) movie director Sam Peckinpah, who made The Wild Bunch, Cross Of Iron, The Osterman Weekend and a dozen other hard-edged films. “He was a hard balls fucking director”, Reimer says. “He was known for doing things his way”.

It’s a small space (just 900 sqft) but I’d put the ceilings at over 12 ft. and the walls (save for the old brick back) are lined with massive windows that open on to the street. They’ve only just received the keys today, but first imaginings see 35 seats all day, with a long, 16 seat open kitchen bar.

As for the food concept, it’s North Carolina BBQ. Expect dry rubs, pulled pork, brisket, St. Louis ribs, smoked oysters, prawn boils, and so on (they’re getting a smoker installed front and center, one that can turn out 550lbs of meat a day).

Take a look…

  • Peckinpah coming to Gastown
  • Peckinpah | 2 Water Street (taken from the Chill Winston patio)
  • Peckinpah | Tyson Reimer and Ryan Murfitt
  • Peckinpah | The back brick wall where the open kitchen line and smoker will be
  • Peckinpah | The entrance, taken from an imaginary bar
  • Peckinpah | There will be seating in the window looking out onto Maple Tree Square
  • Peckinpah | The big door
  • Peckinpah | Rear door might see take-out cash/carry action
  • Peckinpah | The stairs to the lower level (office and storage)
  • Peckinpah | Looking out on Maple Tree Square
  • Peckinpah | Looking back across the kitchen and bar toward the dish pit
  • Peckinpah | Stairs below
  • Peckinpah | History of the Byrnes Block
  • Peckinpah | Coming October 2010 (give or take)

And here’s what it looked like as opening day neared five months later

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  • Peckinpah
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  • Peckinpah
  • Peckinpah
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  • Peckinpah
  • Peckinpah
  • Peckinpah
  • Peckinpah
  • Peckinpah
  • Peckinpah

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