Remembering the Commercial Drive Restaurant Where All the Cooks Liked to Hang Out

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!

Merchant’s Workshop (aka Merchant’s Oyster Bar) was a chef-driven industry favourite fixture on The Drive that was celebrated for its many collaborations, sun-soaked patio, off-menu items (the burgers!), memorable special events and primary focus on making things extra delicious. While it did attract many off-duty cooks, bartenders and servers, to the neighbourhood at large is was like a second living room, a place to slip in, chat up the staff and other patrons at the long bar while downing a few oysters with a glass of something well chosen. It closed in 2018 after chefs-owners Doug Stephen and Lindsey Mann launched a second project, the wildly successful Downlow Chicken Shack, which served up the Nashville hot chicken they’d perfected at Merchant’s. Thankfully, the space was sold to a likeminded group of restaurant industry veterans, who gave us Ugly Dumpling.

  • IMG_9355
  • IMG_2211
  • IMG_2027
  • IMG_2337
  • FullSizeRender_1
  • FullSizeRender
  • IMG_2555

There is 1 comment

  1. Doug is really the king of hospitality. I don’t think anyone could argue this.

Remembering Coal Harbour’s Short-Lived ‘High Priced Jewel Run by Amateurs’

Chef Liam Breem's promising, 74-seat, French and Mediterranean-inspired Verre lasted less than two years at 550 Denman St.

Remembering Gastown’s Ambitious but Doomed Modern German Restaurant

The 2015 arrival of film director Uwe Boll's Bauhaus restaurant was met with deafening quiet from the community it sought to join.

The Most Cursed Location in Vancouver Spat This Fine Restaurant Out In Only a Year

Previous to Ensemble, the space ate Piccolo Mondo, Saveur and Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe. After Ensemble, it swallowed others.

Remembering East Broadway’s Peruvian-Inspired House of Good Times and Pisco Sours

It's been a year since the closure of Mt. Pleasant's Chicha restaurant, but its memory persists for good reason.