The ever-evolving Restaurant Graveyard series looks back at the countless, long-shuttered establishments that helped to propel Vancouver’s food and drink forward. Full A-Z with maps and photos here. May they never be forgotten!
In 2006, after 15 years working in Four Seasons hotels around the world, Chef Wayne Martin decided he wanted to make a change for the casual, striking out on his own to launch an unpretentious 34 seater called Crave on Main at 3941 Main Street (now home to The Arbor).
The 1,000 sqft comfort food-focused restaurant featured a hidden backyard patio and a menu of consistently executed American classics like burgers, Cobb Salads and popcorn shrimp sharing pride of place alongside Martin’s more signature items, like tuna tempura rolls and short rib poutine (the latter being ridiculously delicious, as my contemporary notes recall).
It was the first of three restaurants that Martin would open in the Lower Mainland; followed by the award-winning Fraiche in West Van and Crave Beachside (both opening in 2008 and closing in 2010). Crave on Main would last until 2013.
Side note: In the three years between Crave on Main’s demise and the launch of The Arbor, three other restaurants – Kitchen On Main, Pop-Up Kitchen, Tapas 23 – would claim the location but quickly fold, one after the other.