Requiem for a Short-Lived, Spanish-Themed Wine Bar in Gastown

The ever-evolving Restaurant Graveyard series looks back at the many shuttered establishments that have helped to propel Vancouver’s food and drink forward. Full A-Z with maps and photos here. May they never be forgotten!

The Spanish-themed Tempranillo wine and food bar (named after the Spanish noble grape varietal) was located in a tiny Gastown address that had room for just 26 diners. It was owned and cheffed by Bill Robitaille, who had previously opened and closed two other eateries – first the Italian ‘Notturno’ and then the Japanese ‘Kozakura’ – in the same location (280 Carrall St.).

Ben de Champlain and Bill Robitaille in Tempranillo, just hours before launch in May, 2017 | Photo: Scout Magazine

The front of house and Spanish sherry/cider-heavy drinks program were overseen by award-winning barman Ben de Champlain (formerly of Boneta and Cinara). Though small, unpretentious wine bars are a rarity in Vancouver, Tempranillo was not as successful as it could/should have been. It closed in the Spring of 2018, hardly a year after opening.

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