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The Vancouver Dining Landscape in 2010


jamiemaw
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Sure there will be short term pain around some specific sites, but don't think that every winter resort that's hosted an Olympics hasn't benefitted hugely overall. Ask les 'habs around the Meribel, Courcheval, Val'dIsere area how easy it is to travel the valleys from Albertville! Some gamblers will win, and others in this culinary crap-shoot will lose, and the greedy bastards will continue to be greedy bastards.

Eric has made excellent points concerning general eating trends at an event such as this. Athletes and their entourage are cossetted in the village, or other accommodations, away from the distractions of the host city. As they are eliminated from competition you will see them venturing out, and taking in our culture and foodways. While competing though, their intake is strictly controlled.

Preferred protein suppliers will do very well, as the atheletes I've fed get through all protein varieties at an astonishing rate. This is an ideal time to promote sustainable seafood, and naturally raised beef, chicken, and pork. Who knows? - within four years Mr Pound and his crew might be able to detect the growth hormones that most of the available meats contain nowadays!

The service side of the Olympics, and Olympic village catering specifically will be a fascinating study. Pre-ordering items will involve months of education and guess work. At the end of the day, as Mr Furlong encouraged all those listening, be prepared for the unexpected! Traffic snarl-ups or the vagaries of our weather impact the food delivery system as well as spectators, athletes and locals.

We're running short of labour now; unless things change rapidly it's going to be worse in four years. Someone with the Education portfolio in Victoria needs to get off her backside and create a high school syllabus component dealing directly with the service shortfall we will experience. Many of us want our kids to be involved in this once-in-a-lifetime event in 2010, and look for a considered approach to filling the gap, so that they will be beneficiaries as well.

Some of the Euro mucky-mucks are going to love the Bearfoot Bistro, and will spend astonishing amounts of IOC loose change in the name of amateur athletics. O.G.; you shouldn't leave town, as Whistler will really need someone with your expertise and wit.

Dull would he be who didn't derive joy and pride at the deportment and candour of Canada's speed skating team. I hope we see the same delight in 4 years time.

John

"Venite omnes qui stomacho laboratis et ego restaurabo vos"

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Finding and housing long-term service professionals in any resort economy (Hawaii, Napa, Tofino) is a universal challenge with only one solution: that a proportion of municipal development cost charges be deeded to affordable and attractive employee housing. Unfortunately, a lot of that got past Whistler, which is now largely built out and is reliant on tax revenues, much of which are collected from absentee owners.

Agreed. However, how to deal with this in time for 2010? How does Whistler house the staff needed to service the crowds given that the absentee owners are unlikely to be willing to rent at less than market rates- which presumably will be astronomical at the time?

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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Finding and housing long-term service professionals in any resort economy (Hawaii, Napa, Tofino) is a universal challenge with only one solution: that a proportion of municipal development cost charges be deeded to affordable and attractive employee housing. Unfortunately, a lot of that got past Whistler, which is now largely built out and is reliant on tax revenues, much of which are collected from absentee owners.

Agreed. However, how to deal with this in time for 2010? How does Whistler house the staff needed to service the crowds given that the absentee owners are unlikely to be willing to rent at less than market rates- which presumably will be astronomical at the time?

I believe the answer to your question is Squamish.

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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Finding and housing long-term service professionals in any resort economy (Hawaii, Napa, Tofino) is a universal challenge with only one solution: that a proportion of municipal development cost charges be deeded to affordable and attractive employee housing. Unfortunately, a lot of that got past Whistler, which is now largely built out and is reliant on tax revenues, much of which are collected from absentee owners.

Agreed. However, how to deal with this in time for 2010? How does Whistler house the staff needed to service the crowds given that the absentee owners are unlikely to be willing to rent at less than market rates- which presumably will be astronomical at the time?

I believe the answer to your question is Squamish.

From what I've heard, prices are zooming there faster than a head first luger.

Edited by annanstee (log)

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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Squamish might seem like an option but it really isn't.

They have recently sold their first million dollar home and people have realized long ago that it is undervalued when compared to Whistler and Pemberton.

Plus the 45 minute drive to and from (more during snowstorms) is not an attractive option when you factor in the expense (gas, insurance, etc.)

What money you might save in rent gets eaten up rather quickly once you factor this into the equation.

Whistler has dug this hole for themselves and they are going to have to deal with it in the next 4 years (actually, sooner) or they will find themselves up the proverbial creek sans paddle.

Due to the short-sightedness of town council and developers, real estate agents and the like, this town will look like idiots when the Olympics roll into town.

No (or chronically short of) staff. Bad service. Worse food.

It will be no surprise to see all the experienced servers, cooks and others heading to Calgary or points elsewhere to avoid being overworked, underpaid and generally (mostly) underappreciated during the Games.

This talk of legacies when the Olympics are over make me want to laugh as well.

The only legacy I see is a whopping increase in all provincial taxes to pay for this.

If you don't believe me....

Didn't they just say that construction costs had gone up 23%?

And the province is responsible for any and all cost over-runs?

Just my thoughts

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

P.S. I am not a pessimist. Just a reformed optimist! :laugh:

Edited by Oyster Guy (log)

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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All good punters decide what their percentage is going to be and that's the target for their action. Good investors or bettors do their due diligence. They only wager on what they know.

The lead-up to this extravaganza is the next four years. Start taking a look at the direct and indirect events that will be taking place. As new facilities come on line they will be playing host to a myriad of multi-level events: all will require food, beverage and entertainment in some capacity. Get some of this for your balance sheet each and every month.

Target a certain percentage of your annual revenues to be from Olympic-connected activity and make sure you are in the loop. If you're not a VANOC groupie then forget about it. It's not going to fall in your lap. Events and their organizers over the next few years will take their orders and suggestions from VANOC so get connected if you think your operation will be in line for this kind of coin. Perhaps send some manbait or chicklure over to the office and seduce a secretary for all the secret files.

AS FOR STAFF: Bonusing and incentives are a good idea. It's always a good idea not to treat your human resources as walking, talking Kleenex tissue. Do things to make them forget that they're first in line when owners start looking for ways to keep their leaky boats afloat.

A wise financial advisor once told me that only way to get back at the BANKS for all their withering service fees was to own some bank. You buy the shares and get dividends.

Since we are all going to get the bill for this party, why not start making some cash now to offset the financial hangover that will certainly arrive? Be a player! Buy into the VANOC bank and get some dividends.

Do it right and you could be sitting in Maui watching the games on big screen (Better chance at seeing the action, instant replay, no traffic) Your staff can be working other joints for outrageous temporary rates.

Bradley Cooper

You should be reading my blog!

WINE & VINE BC

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It will be no surprise to see all the experienced servers, cooks and others heading to Calgary or points elsewhere to avoid being overworked, underpaid and generally (mostly) underappreciated during the Games.

I think that's a bit of a stretch.

k.

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It will be no surprise to see all the experienced servers, cooks and others heading to Calgary or points elsewhere to avoid being overworked, underpaid and generally (mostly) underappreciated during the Games.

I think that's a bit of a stretch.

k.

Just watch

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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Wow,

been a while, but I have to jump in......

Ok, so OG feels under-appreciated at work, I get it. He's also correct, our asessment of our almost-project up there cited staffing as the number one challenge, ahead of money, the municipality and competition. 2nd to HR was HR accomodations. I have to agree with him that those issues will create crisis situations if not addressed.

That being said, my line of the moment is this

'Optimism builds restaurants, pessimism keeps them open'

The entrepreneurial spirit that inspires is what causes us as a region to host the Olympics, not the bottom line, nor the ease in achieving it.

Hosting a winter Olympics will be a difficult challenge, but one that we have no choice on, so best get started planning.

OG, if you're correct, then best take your 'sky is falling' sign and move to Cowtown now, because these two towns have a lot of work to do to get ready, and they could sure use someone like you contributing to solutions to these problems.

Like it or not, it's happening, and it's up to all of us to make it happen well. Communication, inspiration and perspiration are far more effective than aggravation.

I have a ton of pride in this industry and the people in it, some of them won't cut it, others will rise to the challenge. The question for all of us will be, which one are we?

Owner

Winebar @ Fiction

Lucy Mae Brown

Century - modern latin -

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  • 2 years later...

Two years later and I thought this topic was worth bumping up to the top of the pile.

It is interesting to look at the dining landscape now as compared to where the predictions were back this time in 2006.

Cheers,

Anne

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I think too that while resort developers like IntraWest may be poised to cash in, things are not going to get any easier in terms of housing the people who actually live and work in Whistler, many of whom are in the service industry.

They have already cashed out!

It is now owned by a private corporation....

It is not Public so you can not look at the books

Fortress Investment Group

There is no quick fix

Remember you have to live with the people of the town...you #%$^ over..they will not forget...you have to stay the course and treat the local and van regulars the same way you always do....when the dust settles you will be better off... you do not want a hangover that will bite you on the ass.

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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  • 1 year later...

I think that people should have another go at this subject with the way the economy is going these days.

Still waiting for that big lottery 2 week payoff?

I just want to see if all those "let's cash in on it" people still think the same way now.

Or if they can afford to at this point.

Myself, I am headed to a low to medium range (20 to 30 bucks a head check average) busy establishment in the East before the circus pulls in.

I really want to see what the dining scene looks like in 2011 here.

That will tell the whole story, me thinks

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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Things are going to be very different for 2010.

Sponsors are dropping out, belts are getting tightened and I think not everyone is going to be able to survive until the Olympics.

I will re-read this thread and see if any predictions are anywhere close to becoming a reality.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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  • 11 months later...

Perhaps we should start with geographic expansion.

I see the areas that are likely for expansion as follows:

1. Crosstown: The advent of newly renovated condominiums on Beatty Street north of Georgia will likely draw a few new restaurants near Chambar and Wild Rice, especially if Ohlund and Salo recover from their Olympic injuries soon. :biggrin:

2. Downtown Eastside: If and when the Woodward's redevelopment gets moving, that anchor itself will likely add quite a few new F & B oulets to service both the university campus and residents. I think it will likely also revive the western fringes of Gastown, and Gastown itself.

3. North Yaletown The Wall and Concorde Pacific multi-tower developments are nearing completion and will launch several thousand new residents on the north end of Yaletown. Lucky Neil.

4. Alberni/Thurlow Nexus The Shangri-la (look for a large Japanese restaurant in the podium) development will anchor the Saltlik/Joe's prevailing wisdom, but at much higher commercial rents.

5. Cambie Corridor The Grosvenor Tower, The Montreux, The RAV station and ultimately, the development of the Olympic Village infrastructure, will see perhaps the greatest concentration of new F & B opportunities in this neighbourhood. But $30+ psf will look pretty attractive by 2010, and a distant memory.

6. South False Creek Extending eastward, the Olympic Village will have a stronger impact post-2010 as mixed use projects extend to Main and southward to link with the the Main and Broadway area, which is already active.

7. Granville Mall The redevelopment of the Capital Six into mixed use will provide linkage between Hornby/Burrard/Alberni and Yaletown. Should be much more lateral, crosstown pedestrian flow by 2010.

Next: The impact of this development on commercial lease rates, and ultimately, how much we pay for dinner.

Weekend Update . . . How do you think the foreign media portrayed Vancouver's and Whistler's culinary landscape during the Olympics?

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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Thanks for resurrecting this thread. It's always fun to look back at our predictions.

Like Vandan, I have to admit that I did not see much about Vancouver restaurants and what I did see seemed to be pretty standard reporting of the usual suspects.

Cheers,

Anne

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There was minimal coverage on the Vancouver dining scene. As you say, the usual suspects had some exposure (eg NY Times, etc). The Conde Nast article on Chinese food in Vancouver was hyperbolic, but at least tried to be different. Surprising little coverage in the blogosphere, as well.

The predictions about how tourists don't venture outside of the core and don't tend to eat out were pretty much bang-on. Large areas of the city were completely dead during the height of the games. Restaurants in those areas that I know would have been hopping on certain evenings were near empty. Even in Gastown (right next to the core), proprietors were taken aback about how little they experienced the halo effect. Sports tourists are not like regular tourists... they come for the sport and not the eating nor the culture. The silver lining is that many of the organizers and media who were here for months before the tourists came actually did so some dining around...hopefully they will spread the word on how well they ate here.

Jamie's predictions about how some areas will evolve sounds about right. I'm most curious about how the Olympic Village will affect the surrounding area...including the crescent that extends all the way to North False creek and Yaletown. The area between 2nd and Broadway (now predominantly a light industrial zone) will surely evolve. I note the opening of Nuba and Benkei Ramen in the fringes there.

One sleeper is Keefer St/Chinatown zone with Bao Bei and The Keefer on the beachead. Will we see more new restaurants and boutique hotels, etc there? Lots of hype and support for them in the biz.

The Oval in Richmond is another interesting case. The City of Richmond is hoping that the Oval will revitalize that area around the river. To raise capital to build the Oval, Richmond sold off 7 hectares of land to one developer. This developer (Aspac) intends to build 2000 units of housing (4000 people) there. They also purchased another 3 hectares to the east of the Oval to build mixed-use commercial/residential properties. It sounds a lot like Richmond's version of Concord Pacific (Expo 86). Richmond will need to foster a tight partnership and a shared vision with Aspac.

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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The area between 2nd and Broadway (now predominantly a light industrial zone) will surely evolve. I note the opening of Nuba and Benkei Ramen in the fringes there.

*Ears perk up* What what did you say fmed? :blink: Another location of Benkei Ramen has arrived near SE False Creek? When? Where?

健啖家(kentan-ka):A hearty eater

He was a wise man who invented beer." - Plato

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The area between 2nd and Broadway (now predominantly a light industrial zone) will surely evolve. I note the opening of Nuba and Benkei Ramen in the fringes there.

*Ears perk up* What what did you say fmed? :blink: Another location of Benkei Ramen has arrived near SE False Creek? When? Where?

It's not yet open...it is at around Ontario/Main and 5th (43 East 5th):

DSC01853.JPG

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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