Homer Street Cafe and Bar-4

Earlier this week, I attended the soon-to-open Homer Street Café and Bar in Yaletown. This space has a century-long history, with past occupants including the former Homer Café, the Stratos Café, and Rose’s Coffee Shop. The original Homer Café opened in 1952 and was originally called the Smithe Coffee Bar.

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The Homer Street Café and Bar is part of a renovation program including The Beasley, a mixed use commercial space with suites, office space, and restaurant, combining sleek modern architecture with heritage components. The work was completed in 2011: The Homer was rechristened The Beasley.

Homer Street Cafe and Bar's Chef Marc-Andre Choquette and Simon Watkins
[Homer Street Café and Bar Chefs Marc-Andre Choquette and Simon Watkins]

Chef Marc-Andre Choquette, together with Sous Chef Tret Jordan and lead bartender J.S. Dupuis have opened their second restaurant in Yaletown after the successful Tableau Bar and Bistro in Coal Harbour.

Rotisol rotisserie machine
[The smells coming from this rotisserie! Photo courtesy of Homer Street Café and Bar]

It’s hard to miss the Rotisol rotisserie downstairs in the kitchen space. A row of black wooden bar chairs will soon be filled with guests savouring Fraser valley chicken with Mediterranean-style rubs such as Ras el hanout. I tried several marinated chicken wings at the launch event and the herbs are superbly addictive!

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The chickens are marinated and roasted, served fresh either whole, halved or in quarters with pee wee potatoes and jus. Divine combination if you ask me.

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The menu will offer snacks (think chorizo and pepper skillet, fried chickpea dip and crostini), starters, cheese and charcuterie, steaks, pastas, sides and desserts, with a focus on locally-minded, sustainable seafood, meats, and farm produce.

From Holland with love: the Berkel Prosciutto Slicer
[From Holland with love: The Berkel Prosciutto Slicer]

Look for cheese and cured meats from the islands – Vancouver, Granville, and Salt Spring, that is.

Mioi Sawada at the bar
[Mixologist Mioi Sawada at the bar]

A full wine list, craft beers, and cocktails are available. The bar area is located right in the heart of the space, with both bar seating and booths.

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Don’t miss the Homer’s signature chocolate pudding served with maldon sea salt and topped with cocoa nibs and a honeycomb. Another dessert I’m keen to try is the butterscotch brownie, with Nutella and marinated strawberries. Mmm, I can almost taste it now.

A 20-seat covered and heated patio on the Homer Street side of the building is on the way, which I’m sure will prove a hit once the doors officially open.

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The interior is gorgeous, designed by Craig Stanghetta, who’s worked his design magic at Meat & Bread, The Clough Club, Pizzeria Farina, The Revolver Café and Bao Bei.

Some of the ceiling light fixtures were sourced from the original Hudson’s Bay while in the downstairs area, a thin-tubed lighting series from Chicago extends from sections along the wall to contain single large retro-style bulbs.

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The Cockpit room upstairs overlooks the restaurant with open windows framed with reclaimed mill wood that swing open.

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An array of cock and hen paintings commissioned for the restaurant give the room its name.

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The moulded ceiling is lovely as are the floor tiles. From the top to bottom levels, this is a spectacular design combining old and modern.

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Homer Street Café and Bar, located at 898 Homer Street, will open on July 2 for lunch, dinner, and brunch. Follow all the foodie porn action on the restaurant’s Instagram account.


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