Long-time industry fixtures Kris Barnholden and Eryn Dorman have picked up an interesting little spot at 983 Helmcken Street. The 800 sqft concrete and glass space is just right of the southern entrance to the Wall Centre complex between Burrard and Hornby. It’s a bit of an odd location but I dig it, brightened as it is with gentle colours, the look is in the grey area between spartan and adorable, like a Nordic kindergarten that – try as it might – can’t quite escape its Scandinavian predilection for the right angle.
Design aside, the area is certainly underserved when it comes to good, interesting eats. It’s a promising development.
Chef Barnholden is no stranger to the neighbourhood as he launched Mis Trucos in the West End six years ago (now Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen). He’s been living in Toronto since then, working at well-respected, well-reviewed (though ultimately doomed) restaurants like The Atlantic and Ursa. He also worked with Canadian chef Daniel Burns at his famed, beer-centric Luksus eatery in Brooklyn (1 Michelin star). As for Dorman, you’ll likely recognise him from his lengthy FOH turn at Campagnolo Roma on East Hastings. Before that, he was with Barnholden as the opening GM at Mis Trucos.
Their plan is for a wine bar that pairs biodynamic and small producer wines with inventive, sharable snacks. They’re calling it Latab, or “The Table” in Chinook jargon. There’s room for 25 seats inside and another 10 on their licensed patio.
“It’s going to be fun,” Barnholden explained when I looked in yesterday. “We’ll be focused on incredible products, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”
Construction is almost complete. The soft opening goes down tomorrow night, with doors opening to the public on Thursday evening. Their hours of operation are 6pm to midnight, Thursday through Monday. Take a look inside…