Take A Look Inside ‘Brasserie Coquette’, Now Open on Arbutus

The team behind South Granville’s wine-forward Stable House Bistro, and Italian neighbourhood restaurants Fiore and Fiore Famiglia add some French inspiration to their portfolio with the recently opened “Brasserie Coquette“.

Coquette (French for ‘flirtatious’) took over the 1700 sqft space at 2685 Arbutus (previously occupied by Gramercy Grill) back in March. After a short but delightfully effective cosmetic upgrade courtesy of Meme Brooks Design, the 55-seat restaurant (with a 15-seat bar and a permit for a 24-seat patio in the works) opened softly over the weekend. Yesterday, ahead of service, we dipped over to the west side to tour the space with co-owner Peter McGee…

When asked what it was about this address that caught his attention and motivated him to open another restaurant at a time when many would be wary, McGee explained: “The location is great, and the windows and patio are pretty rare for a Vancouver restaurant, so that was a big part of the attraction. It was always one of those places I’d walked by (going between The Stable House and Fiore Famiglia) and wondered, “What if…” So when the Gramercy left, we moved pretty quick.

“Our focus has always been neighbourhood spots, so I suppose the most important thing is that it feels welcoming. That said, we also wanted to bring something fresh to the west side, and took inspiration from our favourite places in Paris mixed in with a bit of the modern and industrial look found in places like La Mercerie in New York and Cafe Birdie in LA.”

Walking through the space, the style references are visible. There is a simple but classically French colour palette of blue, tobacco brown, black and crisp white, and unique design details – like vintage gold light fixtures and a wood-framed antique mirror – provide added warmth. Tile work – in the entry and on a raised platform featuring two sultry looking velvet-clad booths – adds texture. Full length windows let in ample light. It’s a pretty room. So much so, that I’m already planning to return as a diner, based on looks alone.

Although I haven’t had the opportunity to dine at Coquette yet, both the “French-inspired West Coast focused” menu and the wine list (a group effort under the guidance of Sommelier Matthew Landry, who won BC Sommelier of the Year in 2019) read deliciously. I already have my first visit gamed out:

I’m going to arrive early so that I can catch the tail end of happy hour (3-5pm) and order the gougères (choux pastry with gruyère) and crudités to go with my $9 glass of 2020 Esprit du Rhône Réserve. As for dinner, I’ll be ordering the steelhead served with root vegetables, béarnaise and basil. By my estimation, that should leave me just enough room for whatever Chef Stewart Ehrecke has planned for the crêpes I spied him prepping during my tour. See below for photos (including the menu) to help you design your own visit to Coquette. Hours are Wednesday – Thursday from 11am – 10pm; Friday – Saturday from 11am – 12am; Monday from 3pm – 10pm, and Sunday from 11am – 10pm. Details here.

Congratulations to the opening team: Managing Partner Pete McGee, Chef Stewart Ehrecke; Sommelier Matt Landry; GM Guilaume (Gui) Barret; Assistant Manager and wine aficionado Kelsey Milne and bartender/accordion player Freeman Iceton.

  • Table seating and pre-service planning at Coquette
    Table seating and pre-service planning at Coquette
  • Chef Stewart Ehrecke at Coquette
    Chef Stewart Ehrecke at Coquette
  • Cold water waiting for guests...
    Cold water waiting for guests...
  • Chef Stewart Ehrecke preps crêpes at Coquette
    Chef Stewart Ehrecke preps crêpes at Coquette
  • Cocktail time!
    Cocktail time!
  • Subtle lavender sips at Coquette
    Subtle lavender sips at Coquette
  • Last minute planning...
    Last minute planning...
  • Sultry booth seating.
    Sultry booth seating.
  • A window into the kitchen...
    A window into the kitchen...
  • Coquette's Bar
    Coquette's Bar
  • Accordion music - it can actually be lovely when the right person is playing.
    Accordion music - it can actually be lovely when the right person is playing.
  • Brioche delivery!
    Brioche delivery!
  • Pre-shift at Coquette
    Pre-shift at Coquette
  • The bar at Coquette
    The bar at Coquette
  • Patio seating (as soon as the permit makes it official))
    Patio seating (as soon as the permit makes it official))
  • Menu
    Menu
  • Coquette dining room
    Coquette dining room
  • Chef Stewart Ehrecke at Coquette
    Chef Stewart Ehrecke at Coquette
  • Pete McGee managing finishing touches at Coquette
    Pete McGee managing finishing touches at Coquette
  • blue, tobacco brown, black and crisp white at Coquette
    blue, tobacco brown, black and crisp white at Coquette
  • Bar stools, lined up and waiting at Coquette
    Bar stools, lined up and waiting at Coquette
  • Pre-game at Coquette
    Pre-game at Coquette
  • Folding linens.
    Folding linens.
  • Looking into the kitchen at Coquette
    Looking into the kitchen at Coquette
  • Coquette
    Coquette
  • Patio seating.
    Patio seating.
  • Opening
    Opening
  • Coquette dress code
    Coquette dress code

There is 1 comment

  1. Belts and suspenders for added safety. I see the Frenchman across the street is doing the bread. Smart move.