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Oct 18, 2011 04:49 PM

Fine dining in the GVRD

Saw this brief blip in the Star (

"[Boulud] shut his two Vancouver restaurants, Lumière and db Bistro Moderne, in March after just two years in business. Vancouverites have been turning away from fine dining and embracing casual eating."

Discuss/complain/ignore away.

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  1. Well...he's right (despite all the backstory drama).

    1 Reply
    1. re: fmed

      I agree, though I'm not sure Vancouver could ever really have been described as a hotbed of fine dining. We've always (in my dining out lifetime) been more inclined toward the midrange. Even our "best" restaurants seem to me to have been/are far more casual than say Toronto's, maybe partly because of the high COL per quattro. Latterly I think that has been seen as a response to the economy but I'm not sure it's a trend per se, more of an attitude. Which I personally like :-).

    2. well your loss may be our gain: word is that he will open at the new sheraton hotel in TO.
      albeit we are not sure if it will be a high end view or a rumoured bakery and casual dining establishment

      1 Reply
      1. re: kayia1

        Yes, that's the story in the link provided by the OP.

      2. I'm not sure that Vancouverites are "turning away from fine dining" in so much as much-touted big name restaurants start out brilliantly then slowly peeter out because of poor service/inconsistent food quality. Bring in something like Joel Robuchon/L'atelier and I'm sure it would do very well - they are always consistently fantastic.

        One would also have to consider how much it costs to live in Vancouver - I'm sure most people don't have a lot of disposable income to be able to drop $300 on a meal.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Quattrociocchi

          "One would also have to consider how much it costs to live in Vancouver - I'm sure most people don't have a lot of disposable income to be able to drop $300 on a meal."

          Yes I very much agree-here on 4th Ave in Kits the two 'big local efforts' in terms if fine dining-Fuel & the place next door-both turtled because mortgage strapped locals didn't have the dosh to visit more than a few times a year.

          1. re: Sam Salmon

            Good examples of adaptation, Sam -- when Angus An shifted to somewhat more affordable, casual Thai (Gastropod to Maenam) and when Fuel knocked their prices down and rebranded as Refuel, rather than just packing it in.

            1938 W. 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 1M5, CA

        2. The Vancouverites turning away from fine dining has been pretty widely touted this year. In Van Magazine restaurant award write ups and I think Andrew Morrison may have done a piece in that vein for Van Mag.

          I think the lack of head offices, and the attendant expense account dining, has a lot to do with it too. There's not really any head offices of significance here that I can think of. There's lots of branch offices, some not even downtown. The high tech sector doesn't have a big presence downtown. Oil and gas is centred in Calgary. Forestry has moved most of its staff to where the operations are.