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Remembering the West End’s ‘South of the Border’ Shrine to Margaritas and Good Times

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 in 2005 by Lila and Jaison Gaylie, this immediately popular Mexican-inspired eatery at the top of Davie Street’s west slope featured a great cocktail list (always with bright paper umbrellas), loads of tequila, lots of delicious share plates (mmm, taquitos!) and an irreverent, transportive atmosphere made all the more convincing by tiki bamboo ceiling panels and (hopefully faux) skin-backed bar stools. The music was always loud, the daily specials were never boring, and the annual super smoky back alley BBQ parties were days and nights of legend.

Before the 42-seater closed in the Spring of 2017 (making it a solid 12 years), the female-led restaurant had nurtured several influential talents, including chef Shelome Bouvette, who would later launch Mt. Pleasant’s exuberant (but now also shuttered) Peruvian-themed Chicha.

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Lolita's South of the Border Cantina
Neighbourhood: West End
1326 Davie St.

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