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Chambar


SBonner
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A couple of glitches have slowed the proeedings, not the least was building around FNC's Opening Soon camera crews. Looks like about the end of the first week of August--or so.

Jamie

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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  • 1 month later...

Walked by there tonight! (Thursday) and it's looking pretty close to opening. On a similar note "is Thursday night the new Sunday?" My wife and I dropped by Umami it had one table from 9:00-10:30 and at Wild Rice from 11:00 to 11:30 just two tables, and at the new restaurant "one" in Gastown it closed after we left at 12:05.

Any comments?

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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  • 2 weeks later...

For some reason I thought it was open from a previous thread.. must be thouroughly confused. What a pain we were going to try to go tonight.. i guess that is off

DANIELLE

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

-Virginia Woolf

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No it is open just went to thread' Opening Soon .. see below and it was open on Tuesday..

sorry don't know how to paste previous thread.. so just copied and pasted

MrGourmet

Today, 07:02 AM

Post #37

Group: Associate Members

Posts: 6

Our second stop was Chambar - I think I have found my new favorite place in the city! We arrived shortly before 10 pm and the room was still busy. The room is intimate but spacious with great acoustics so you can actually hear your date while the people chat around you as well. The menu offers some unusual but exciting dishes such as Lamb Tajine and Duck with Juniper Berries. I have not been this excited about a menu since living and working in the UK. My wife and I shared the Lamb Tajine with honey, figs, cinnamon, and cilantro on a bed of cous cous that was perfectly prepared, if not way too big. Two full lamb shanks came as part of the dish, which for $19 is one of the best deals in town although my wife would have preferred to just eat the cous cous it was so good with all the nuts and fruits incorporated into it. We also shared the Grilled Salmon with Haloumie Cheese, Shaved Fennel Salad and Pomegranate Syrup (with a tapenade type of crust not mentioned on the menu). This was one of the few times I have actually been asked how I like my salmon cooked and they were excited by my “rare” response and when it came it was perfectly cooked. As with the lamb, at $16 this is an amazing deal! The service was execellent but they are still waiting for some of thier wines to come in so selection is a little limited at this time. I am sure I will be back to Chambar over and over again.

http://www.chambar.com/

I have copies of the menu in PDF form but I can't figure out how to attach them.

DANIELLE

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

-Virginia Woolf

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It's open - my wife and I had a fabulous meal there last night - see my brief description under "Opening Soon".

I also have PDF copies of the menus which i snagged last night as well, so if you want to have a copy, send me a PM before 11 am with your email address and I will forward them to you.

Eric

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The trial menu for Chambar is also posted way back on 'Opening Soon'. We were also there last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. The moules frites, steak frites, lamb tagine were all excellent and the room is a pleasure, as are the proprietors. We had come from the fundraiser at the newly renovated Robson/Bute location--they poured $2.1 million in.

Coop, there's an opening party at Chambar there on Saturday night but any other evening should do you fine.

It's great to see rooms opening like Pair, Cassis and Chambar--each a direct reflection of the chef/proprietor and very individualistic.

Thanks for the insights on One, Mr. G. Sounds like you would give it a flashing yellow.

Cheers,

Jamie

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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QUOTE

Robson?Bute 2.1 million. What are you talking about JM?

Earl's has a location at Robson & Bute and they've recently had a renovation...but could it be $2.1 million???

I'm talking about the Earls at Robson and Bute, aka Earls on Top. I was there last night for a charity fundraiser/relaunch of the newly renovated space. And yes, in speaking with Bus Fuller, the patriarch of the company, he confirmed the figure of $2.1 million. A fair whack of that is in what the customer doesn't see: double-stacked plumbing, new kitchens etc. And bear in mind that Earls shops very frugally (they have fish hooks in their pockets) for sharp pricing.

What the customer does see is all good. In a salute to our recently relaxed restaurant liquor legislation, a huge oval bar now anchors the main room that has been attractively modernized: the Patriots looked mighty good on the many flatscreens around the room and over the bar. And if I'm not mistaken, that was Vancouverite Nairne Gray sitting in the owner's box drinking Bobby Kraft's beer. Terrific sound system too, with quality ambient sound but not in your face. I can hardly wait for Broadway and Fir to get the extreme makeover. Because there's something about the wine list that Anthony Gismondi and David Schofield compiled for Earls that's mighty NFL-friendly.

You both sounded pretty surprised about the cost. But that's the going rate; it seems a wholesale renovation can be as expensive (sometimes more--there can be nasty surprises along the way and demo and disposal is expensive in constrained urban spaces) as a new-build. For example, a new-build Cactus Club is about $1.5M for its small footprint (Yaletown) stores to $2.25M for a large footprint (Park Royal) one--plus, plus, plus. I daresay their new freestanding store in Kelowna will be even more.

The renovation at Earls would have cost less a year and a half ago. Although construction cost increases have eased a bit in the past few months, hard costs have risen about 8 percent (frame) to 10 percent (concrete) in the past year or so. Maybe more. Labour and off-site costs have also risen dramatically. I made a pretty strong case with my kids this year about enrolling them at the University of Drywalling. Or Tile Setting.

But perhaps the better question is to ask, with these large start-up or renovation costs, how has our restaurant food managed to remain amongst the best bargains on the continent?

Hope this clarifies things.

Slap your editor down at the Magazine. There were some dodgy finacial projections in the article in question on Chambar.

Keith, I reread the piece and ask what projection of the proprietors you disgreed with? Or was it something in the way we reported it/them?

And yes, Jerry_A, Chambar does do lunch.

Jamie

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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I made a pretty strong case with my kids this year about enrolling them at the University of Drywalling. Or Tile Setting.

A PHD in plumbing is the way to go. I hear that enrolment numbers at BCIT are dropping, old guys retire, lots of work.

Rates will move up to $85 per hour.

A good living and steady work all year round !

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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"Keith, I reread the piece and ask what projection of the proprietors you disgreed with? Or was it something in the way we reported it/them?

"

From the article; "they offered a return approximating 20 percent per annum—that is, every dollar invested over the initial five-year operating period is forecast to return the initial investment plus four dollars."

1 dollar, over five years at 20% yields 1 dollar (slightly more because of compounding, but lets not get too detail oriented), plus repayment of principle. What am I missing?

(As an aside, I can't really beleive I'm becoming this old of a crank, this seems like something my grandfather would do, if he knew how to use the internet, and wasn't dead)

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Sorry back to Chambar, got a reservation for tonight. can't wait to try it. will give an update tomorro

DANIELLE

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

-Virginia Woolf

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'Waiter, waiter, there's a split hair in my soup.'

You sharp-eyed auto-didacts are hard on the nerves, Keith. Actually I'm delighted that you read the piece in such detail; I think your first excursion to Chambar will be worth your analytical pain.

The short answer is that I could have been either more concise or more explanatory. The chief reason I did neither and and fudged (using the word 'approximating') is because of many variables. But if it wasn't clear it's my own doing and not my editor's.

So let me split some hairs.

A full-on analysis would have shown an upward curve of income in Year 1 of operations after one-time start-up costs (some pre-opening and all opening expenses) are paid, and a rationalization of expenses as staffing and other variable costs stabilize. There's a modest adjustment when warranties begin to expire in Year 2, but typically the proforma will approach 'steady state' by month 18 or so, maybe with modest revenue upticks beyond that. So say an approximate 12 percent plus return in Year 1 but cruising upward.

But the other answer to your question, 'What am I missing' -- is the cost of the money, the 'preferred return.'

That's because there's another iteration that exists within restaurant financing equations: the cost of money (say at 8% or so) on the declining balance of invested equity. This is a fluid calculation that is usually calculated and paid quarterly.

Finally though (see the Joe Fortes note below), if the general partner exceeds expectations slightly, a little bit of ROI magic happens. Once the equity is repaid (as well as the preferred return), the investor is then receiving an infinite return on phantom equity. Of course this has the effect of distorting the return upward.

Overall, perhaps an 18 to 20 percent return or better--especially if they improve the velocity at which they pay back the equity.

That's why I used the 'approximating' Coles Notes version--hope you can live with it following this explanation; I didn't want to lose the reader but could have been more concise--although reading back through this explanation bores the bejesus out of me, let alone you and other readers.

It's no doubt occurred to you that financially successful restaurants, once they've paid their equity back (plus the preferred return) can be nifty little annuity machines for investors--ad infinitum (after four or five years--and up until a major renovation). But they're the exception; chief among those would be Joe Fortes, whose limited partners have been clipping coupons for a long while thanks to Bud Kanke and crew.

For anyone still awake, here's the offending article: http://www.vanmag.com/0409/U_diner.html

I hope we can all sleep a little better now.

Cheers,

Jamie

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Actually Keith, upon reflection I've come up with a better formula, especially as it describes Chambar:

ROI = bt x pf + a

where bt = beef tallow

pf = pommes frites

and a = aioli

They are, I believe, the best fries I've eaten in these parts and there are lots of them.

J.

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Sorry if our rather woebegone senses of humour are taking you away from your aioli, but we're certainly not quarelling M'd.

You see Keith, I said it would bore the reader. Or worse.

Jamie

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Gotta agree Jamie, they are pretty damned good fries and actually an all good experience. Can't wait to go there again when more of their beer has arrived. I couldn't decide on an apetizer and the waitress recommend the Tuna salad, acocmpanied with peaches, an olives, tomatoes and other wonderful stuff and then have the steak and frites. So tasty esp. with the grilled endived. Great ambiance and like i said can't wait to go back!

DANIELLE

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

-Virginia Woolf

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You sharp-eyed auto-didacts are hard on the nerves, Keith.

Jamie

See, you're just being hyper-sensitive due to the recent change in policy at Vanmag changing the letters to the editor to a section that would be more accurately named "Things I don't like about Jamie". It seems every unbalanced disaffected loner wierdo in the city ('cept me of course) have been shapening their Crayola's and unleashing a torrent of criticism with about as much accuracy as was last shown when Colin Powell was at the UN doing his powerpoint presentation showing the exact locatons of the WMD. So you're forgiven for being slight defensive regarding cheap meaningless critism, but hell, if you deny me that what do I have left, (aside of course from stunning looks, and a trail of satisfied lovers across the whole southern BC).

Tried to go to Chambar week before last, as the Talent monsters we're camping with their grandparents for a night (I honestly can't say who that's worse for, truthfully, probably the people in the campsite next to them.) Ended up at the Lumiere tasting bar instead. Off topic, but shared five dishes with Mrs. Talent, two were outsanding, two were mediocre and one was terrible. Yo Rob. How do you manage to screw up a beef-dip sandwich so badly? Great fries though.

We'll go to Chambar this week.

Tuna & Peaches? That just sounds odd, please tell me that it works more successfully thatn it sounds.

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