Five Years Ago This Week, Taking A Sneak Peek Inside Vancouver’s First Tacofino

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Five years ago this week, Kaeli Robinsong, Jason Susman and Ryan Spong – owners of a fledgling food truck operation called Tacofino, let me look inside the construction of their first brick and mortar location at 2327 East Hastings. A refresher:

Their 50 seater might be almost two months behind schedule, but it’s looking good and I’m happy to report that it’s very nearly finished. I’m particularly digging the big light installation by designer Omer Arbel (some of its baubles will be lovingly stuffed with cacti by Olla in Gastown). I’m also loving the wood block tables and chairs that they sourced from Cooombs. As you can see from the shots above and below, it’s a very simple layout. Its plainness – I think – honours the brand’s beginnings as an unfussy food truck – one of my all-time favourites. They’re aiming to open during the second week of July.

Take a look inside (again) and appreciate humble beginnings…

  • Owners Kaeli Robinsong and Jason Susman
  • Owners Kaeli Robinsong and Jason Susman
  • The van (not a food truck)
  • The front window
  • Communal seating
  • The bar
  • Communal seating
  • Omare Arbel light installation
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  • IMG_1838 2
  • IMG_1842
  • IMG_1841
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  • Alfredo Garcza, Chris Dignan, Steve Da Cruz with owners Kaeli Robinsong, Ryan Spong, Jason Susman

They were able to open in late July, and found themselves instantly bumrushed by the Hastings-Sunrise community. I’ve included a gallery below that shows just how busy they were in their first week (check out chef Jesse Grasso rocking the line in photo #4).

  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary on East Hastings
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary | Bollilo Rolls with marrow butter
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary | Tamale
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary | Surf & Turf (chicken & squid)
  • Tacofino Commissary | The Champ
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary | Black garlic and tamarind wings
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary | Cauliflower
  • Tacofino Commissary | Tamale
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary | legendary Fish Taco
  • Tacofino Commissary
  • Tacofino Commissary

I don’t think the rush ever really stopped. Some of the people in the shots above may have moved on – really, everyone except Kaeli, Jason and Ryan – but that trio has since expanded the company to include three trucks and locations in Victoria, Gastown and Yaletown, plus they’ve just partnered up with the folks behind The Dallah Menu and Cafe Medina to launch a soon-to-open Middle Eastern concept in Victoria that we’re really looking forward to. It’s called Superbaba.

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