Massive ‘Coho Commissary’ Imminent in East Van, Complete With New Cafe

The sprawling maze of prep stations and kitchen lines at Coho | Photo: Scout

Coho Commissary is just a few days away from softly opening to the public on an industrial stretch of East Georgia Street, bringing with it nearly 10,000 sqft of rentable commissary kitchen space, plus a cafe.

Co-owner Andrew Barnes told me yesterday that the sprawling space is looking to pass final inspections tomorrow. The project is a couple months behind schedule, but if you recall what it looked like back in late October when we first broke the news of its coming then you know this was no small endeavour. Here’s a bit of what I wrote back then:

The first thing I imagined when I walked into the 10,000 sqft construction space yesterday afternoon to meet up with owners Andrew Barnes and Amrit Maharaj was how good and weird it will eventually smell. When it – the third and largest Coho outpost (they also operate shared kitchens on the North Shore and behind Andina Brewing on Powell St.) – launches before Christmas, the massive, impossibly high-ceilinged space will play host to an assortment of disparate culinary endeavours in need of commissary space, everything from food trucks and first-timers in the incubation stage to veteran restaurant groups in need of a place to boil and bubble.

Joining us on the walk-through was Jennifer Chan, the company’s Head of Marketing & Retail. She will be overseeing the rollout of the in-house cafe, which should prove an interesting challenge. She tells me the 16-seater will incorporate many of the client-prepared foods into the cafe menu (as well as espresso drinks from local roaster Elysian Coffee). To wit, if one of the stations is churning out really good hummus or novel cookies on site, the cafe will be a means of introduce the product to the public. (The hours of the cafe – which can/will double as rentable event space – will be 7:30am to 3:30pm to start.)


Coho’s cafe, beyond which is a bookable private room. | Photo: Scout.

Upwards of 26 companies – big, small and fledgling – have since signed on to use the space, which looks and feels like a laboratory of deliciousness with complete kitchen lines, private rooms, plenty of dry storage and over 1,500 sqft of walk-in coolers and freezers. If all goes well with tomorrow’s final inspections, they plan to softly launch this Monday, March 2nd (cafe included), with a Grand Opening slated for the following Monday. Keep an eye on our Bulletin Board for the official announcement, which is coming very soon.

Why it matters: Dedicated commissary kitchen spaces for food trucks, space-starved restaurants and start-ups are few and far between in Vancouver. As such, they’re a much needed ingredient in the ever-bubbling stew that is our complex food scene.

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