Annalena and Their There co-owners Jeffrey Parr and Mike Robbins are getting ready to open their newest project, Hundy, a burger restaurant within a restaurant located at 2042 West 4th Avenue in the heart of Kitsilano.
I first learned about Hundy almost 7 months ago. Annalena co-owners Jeff Parr and Mike Robbins were showing me around the construction site at the new cafe spot they’d acquired for their then soon-to-open Their There concept, and I noticed that they’d cut off some 300+ sqft of 2,300 sqft behind a 7 ft. wooden wall topped with plants. What gives? Oh, that? That’s the next thing, they told me, and proceeded to lay out their grand plan.
Their There was just Phase One of a two-part operation. As a daytime-only cafe, the now somewhat oddly-shaped room (formerly Mission) would draw in the coffee crowd with killer baked goods, sandwiches, beans from Portland’s beloved Heart Coffee, and a thoughtful interior design. Phase Two would be Hundy, the thing that’s hidden behind that wall, and today I was finally given the green light to make mention of it.
Behind that wall are four booths that can fit up to six people each, essentially adding another 24 seats to the whole, making for a grand total of some 55 seats. (There are other cool elements to the hidden space, but I’ll leave those for later.) The wall is convertible, meaning it can slide/fold open. The access point will remain hidden during the daytime while Their There is operating, and open only when Hundy takes over at 5pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Like Their There, Hundy will be an entirely counter-service show, with a focus on simple burgers (Two Rivers’ brisket and shoulder), really good double-cooked fries (house-punched) and a tightly curated selection of high quality local beer. They want to be in full-swing during late-night, so I think it’s fair to anticipate a good post-shift industry showing. What’s in a name? Hundy is slang for a hundred dollar bill. (If they ever open other locations, they will Two Hundy, Three Hundy, and so on.)
It’s right to be super excited about this one. I’ve been following Chef Robbins’ career closely for several years now (back to his days at The Oakwood), chiefly because he is a bit of a talented alien among his contemporary peers, focusing on deliciousness above everything else. He doesn’t fetishize artisanal sourcing, wax grandly on sustainability, or preach the gospel of locality. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) He chooses not to. He does his own myriad things, and one of those is making the foods we already identify as being delicious somehow taste even better (as Annalena and Their There regulars will no doubt attest). Robbins is really an artist, and I don’t mean that in the service spoon-and-tweezers sense of the word. The guy designs his own restaurants, down to the furniture and all the interesting objets d’art within. When he applies himself to burgers and fries, we should take notice.
After a soft service or two, Hundy is on track to open at some point just before or after Christmas. I might have further details before then, so don’t go far…