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!
Opened by Mike Shea in 2011, The Oakwood was a casual eatery in Kitsilano that slowly earned a solid reputation by reimagining Canadian comfort food favourites. It took a year or two for word of its deliciousness to extend beyond the neighbourhood, but the woody, warm and genuinely welcoming restaurant would eventually become a destination spot for diners across the city. It reached the top of its game under the talented kitchen stewardship of opening chef Mike Robbins, who not only plated one of the best burgers in Vancouver but also one of its best poutines. In 2014 Robbins would leave to open his own celebrated projects in the neighbourhood (AnnaLena, Their There, Hundy), leaving a creative hole in the operation that was never adequately filled despite the best efforts of his successors. The Oakwood, which also attracted front of house talents such as GM Jeff Parr (who left with Robbins as his business partner) and bartender Rob Clough, would close in confusion in the spring of 2019.