Sadly, Shirakawa closed after service on Friday night. The slick Japanese restaurant in the modern Garage Development in Gastown didn’t last too far beyond its first birthday. I took the images above and below on the eve of its opening last year. If you know nothing of the short-lived Shirakawa, you might recognise the space as the second coming of Boneta, which closed at the end of 2013 (and remains sorely missed by many).
Taking the keys over the weekend were Ivo Staiano and Jason and Linda Antony, partners in Meet on Main, the very busy meatless restaurant at 4288 Main Street. With it, they’re aiming to do a thoughtful renovation, change up some of the kitchen equipment, and open Meet In Gastown, a 70 seater serving both lunch and dinner.
The menu will be very similar to the one tabled at Meet On Main, which is to say casual, affordable, familiar, and comforting. (exemplars I recall include nori-wrapped, beer battered tofu with tartar sauce and a hot sauce burger with guacamole). The owners don’t outwardly identify the restaurant as vegetarian, but it is completely meatless — not a little ironic considering how the address’ previous incarnation focused primarily on wagyu beef, not to mention the fact that it backs onto Blood Alley and is adjacent to the private rooms of a restaurant with a name that translates from the French as “Slaughterhouse”.
If everything goes according to plan, Meet In Gastown hopes to have its doors open at some point around the New Year, if not before Christmas.