Restaurateurs David Hannay and Patrick Mercer have been fixtures in Yaletown since 1999, when they first opened Brix at 1138 Homer Street. In 2005, they connected Brix to the space underneath it 1137 Hamilton Street and created a cocktail bar there called George. Yup, that was 10 years ago.
Fast forward to today, and it’s time for a change. As of this Friday, the two establishments will combine as one entity, albeit with two personalities and two entrances. And the 230 seat behemoth will be known as Brix & Mortar.
George is getting most of the attention in the renovation. Its 38 seat, people-watching patio is being completely refitted with blue banquettes, slate grey tables, an extended awning, and – wait for it – a series of three, 7-tiered chandeliers. “We’re not going up against any of our neighbours’ patios. We’re going up against the one upstairs at Brix.” Patrick explains, referring to the transportive, glassed-in courtyard that’s been a perennial shortlister in the city’s best patio rankings for over 15 years. As you can see from the photographs, the interior is getting a complete redux, too, complete with brand new butcher block tables, banquettes, light fixtures, and a new nook or two.
These will no doubt to give it a more casual feel than the old Brix space upstairs, which will retain it’s white linen tablecloths, arched tunnel access, and general ivy-covered, brickish awesomeness. It’s one and the same restaurant, however, up and down.
“We wanted to kill George.” Patrick half-jokes, adding that its final end presented an opportunity for him and David to revitalize Brix as well. “Brix opened in the last century,” David reminds me. Personally, I don’t see it as that much of a radical shift, but rather a rebranded consolidation of what Patrick and David have already been doing for a long time (ie. good food and drink with a slice of sophisticated swank). Twas ever thus. From the inside, however, it must seem like quite the transition.
Chris Bisaro – who has been at the restaurant for a decade – has created a brand new menu, and it will be the same for both rooms. Likewise bar manager Chris Mosey’s cocktail list. Bonus: bartender Jonathan Smolensky is making his return to the space for a couple nights a week after spending the last few years at Hawksworth. Take a closer look below…