Kitsilano’s Cacao Has Officially Closed. Here’s Why…

Kitsilano’s ‘Progressive Latin’ Cacao restaurant has officially closed after nearly three years at 1898 West 1st Avenue. Co-owner/chef Jefferson Alvarez just sent me the following note explaining some unfortunate circumstances that hastened the end:

It was one of the best experiences of our lives. One of those experiences where you leave part of your soul and your heart. It was three years of creating and cooking with all of our LOVE and PASSION, motivated by a deep respect for our Latin roots and the desire to share all this Latin complexity and richness in Vancouver.

CACAO was growing, just strengthening its roots. We were still in that fragile process when a fracture started in the water pipe below the ground and this water was affecting the building next door. It was almost 4 weeks that we had to be closed for service until the problem of the water leak was completely resolved.

This 4-week forced closure was too much for the fragile economic situation of CACAO. We did not had the resources to support this situation, this season being one of the best ones of the year, right in the summer. We had a wonderful location with a beautiful patio, but unable to provide service. We were forced to cancel reservations and private parties without being able to reschedule because we did not know at that moment when we could open again.

It was like an avalanche of situations that were happening very quickly until they finally led us to have no other option. We were forced to sell the restaurant.

Life is full of perfection at every moment and this is no exception. It closes a beautiful chapter in our lives. We are happy because we gave our everything, we gave ourselves completely giving the best of us in CACAO. We are grateful to all the people who accompanied us from the beginning.

Thank you all for your love. We are open to new opportunities to continue sharing our talent and our great LOVE and PASSION for cooking.

Previously, the location was home to the Epicurean for 23 years. It should be interesting to see what happens next for the address, not to mention for Jefferson, Marcela, Matthew and the rest of the team. I’m sure I’m not alone in wishing them the best of luck moving forward.

There are 4 comments

  1. Absolutely gutting. While the rest of the city flocks to vacuous, trendy places that rush you through service or serve food seasoned with indifference, CACAO was a real anomaly in the city – so creative, unique, inviting and utterly delicious, Chef Alvarez is right when he talks about the passion they had for creating an incredible dining experience. I will mourn the loss of Cacao for sure.

  2. I hope they read the article and comments – we had such a memorable dining experience there. Every dish was a creative surprise. I am sorry to hear that they weren’t able to weather the interruption. It speaks to the tenuousness of small businesses in Vancouver. We were just walking by the other day and it looked closed and I felt a bit worried, but it was a Monday so I just figured they weren’t open by design.

    Thanks to a wonderful culinary team – you will be missed!

  3. Simply a loss. I encourage all who choose to dine out in our city to not simply just eat but eat to learn. Ask questions, get involved, learn about the business and people you’re choosing to support with your hard earned cash. By dining with intention it is my belief that we will see more awesome independent restaurants such as Cacao succeed.

    By asking questions, by dining with intention I have learned more about the entire team at Cacao and I am better off for it

  4. This situation shows the fragility of operating an independent business, and the blood, sweat, and tears that are involved. This is why we MUST support small businesses, and not just the chains, and corporate establishments. Good luck to this crew for the future and what other wonderful plans that they may have in their hearts.

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