We’ve been waiting for a long time to see Bows x Arrows open their cafe and restaurant in the Fraserhood. I’m glad to report that opening day is almost upon us. I took a tour yesterday with co-owner Drew Johnson, and the place is a total stunner, all clean and white and woody and drunk with so much natural light. Top marks to Jessica Nakanishi and Jonathan Sabine of Toronto firm MSDS Studio; they did a fantastic job with the aesthetics, especially the impossibly long communal table made with 100 year old fir (assembled to spec by Spacelab’s Clint Moroz).
For some background on it, here’s what we wrote about it back in October of 2015:
Nate Sabine and Drew Johnson of Victoria’s Bows & Arrows Coffee Roasters are opening a restaurant and cafe at 4194 Fraser Street. The 1,700 sqft location has been empty for a couple of years, and it has seen many suitors balk. It’s the original address of BKH Jerky (the spot where they used to make their addictive Singapore style jerky before moving a few blocks north); a fantastic location, to be sure, with plenty of glass/sun and potential for a deep customer base out of the gate.
If you’ve never heard of the brand before, Bows & Arrows makes damn fine coffee and supply such reputable joints around Vancouver as Au Comptoir, Revolver, Pourhouse, Small Victory, and the upcoming Federal Store. Based on bean quality alone, they’ll likely be a very welcome addition to the increasingly coffee-heavy Fraserhood (the next block includes a Bean Around The World and will soon welcome the 3rd location of Prado, while Matchstick is just a few blocks up at Kingsway).
They only took possession a month ago, and as you can see from the images, they’ve got a long way to go, inside and out (the 40 seat corner location will – cross your fingers – include a sunny patio running along its 26th Ave. side). As far as the concept is concerned, it’ll be a restaurant and cafe. Johnson likens the extent of Bows & Arrows’ menu to that of The Birds & The Beets in Gastown, which serves soups, salads, sandwiches, snacks, and breakfasts (with induction heat). He qualifies it as “drinking food”. Yes, Bows & Arrows will be fully licensed.
The menu I’ve seen isn’t set in stone, but a few things jumped out at me. In addition to their delicious coffee (currently sipping on their Bolivian brew), expect them to be serving up full breakfasts (eg. avocado toast loaded with poached eggs and salsa verde); a variety of tartines (eg. country style meatloaf with english mustard on rye); a few salads (eg. baby gem with roasted tomato, anchovies and vinaigrette); and a series of share plates (eg. whipped goat’s curd with crushed English peas, green oil, and seeded crackers). There are also a dozen wines to work with, as well as some swell cocktails (eg. Hemingway Daiquiri). It all reads well.
They received their occupancy permit yesterday but they’re going to wait until after the long weekend to launch, possibly Tuesday or Wednesday. Hours will be 7:30am to 10pm (possibly later) all week with a special weekend brunch service coming before summer’s end. Take a look inside…