As its inside-and-out renovation gets closer to completion, Lonsdale Quay Market has named their new anchor restaurant tenant along with a few other food and booze businesses moving into the iconic North Vancouver market.
Taylor Mathiesen, president of market’s parent company Quay North Urban Development, said the company is very pleased with the assortment of businesses lined up for the 37-year-old Quay’s revitalization.
“Lonsdale Quay, is at its core, a gathering place,” said Mathiesen. “With everything that’s happening in the neighbourhood already, we’re just going to be that extra piece.”
King Taps, Strathcona Brewing among new tenants
King Taps, a new-to-Metro Vancouver brand launched by the owners of Cactus Club, will occupy the two-storey, 10,000-square foot addition currently under construction on the south side of the building. Cactus Club opened its first King Taps in downtown Toronto in 2017 and a Kelowa location in 2022. The Quay’s management describes the King Taps as a “blend of a neighborhood hangout with downtown service, selection and style.”
“They’re still fine tuning exactly what their offering will be here, but I know their other locations do have a lot of family-style plates and shareables,”said Mathiesen. “It’s a lively and space to get together and it’s approachable for all, really. It’s family friendly.”
Taking over the former Green Leaf Brewing location in 2024 will be Strathcona Brewing, which has had a popular and visually striking brewery on East Hastings Street in Vancouver since 2016.
Mathiesen said they had a lot of interest from other established breweries in the Lower Mainland but Strathcona “felt like the best fit.”
“They really, really are quite excited about being part of the market and this Lower Lonsdale neighbourhood and the Shipyards Brewery District,” he said.
Because of provincial liquor regulations, visitors won’t be able to buy a beer at Strathcona and wander the market for a nosh but Mathiesen said they will have that option in The Mainstay, a new bar that will feature prominently in the food hall, offering B.C.-based wines, beers, ciders and cocktails.
Strathcona isn’t the only established Vancouver business that the Quay has been able to woo over. Also arriving this fall are handmade dumplings at Heritage Asian Eatery, bento boxes from Takenaka and fried chicken and waffles from Le Coq Frit. Edgemont’s Krave Kulture will also be bringing their frozen yogurt to the market.
Not every familiar tenant will be back but several businesses are moving into bigger spaces including Saje Natural Wellness, Margitta’s Flowers and Perform Arts Studios. Later this spring, the beloved Soup Meister will re-open as The Soup Meister’s Nephew.
Live music, cooking demos planned
The Quay’s management is also now planning active programming inside the market including live music, cooking demos, classes and long table dinners.
“We’re really trying to activate it year-round and better support what the customers are wanting to experience and what will also help the businesses thrive,” Mathiesen said.
Initially, the plan was to have Quay improvements done in 2022 with King Taps opening in 2023. Now, it will likely be fall of 2023 for the market’s completion and early 2024 for King Taps.
“The joys of the construction world right now,” he said, noting materials have been harder to source lately.
Work is about half done on the exterior facelift with a new “super graphic” being applied to the existing cladding. It prominently features the familiar Lonsdale Quay red.
“We thought that this was a creative way to give the building a refreshed look, while still kind of honouring that iconic colour,” Mathiesen said.
The Q tower will be getting a new bridge to the second floor of the restaurant when it opens as well.
The Quay has always seen a mix of far-flung tourists and North Van locals passing through but the evolution of the neighbourhood means there’s a new demographic of foodies that are hopping the SeaBus over.
“Since the completion of the Shipyards project just before the pandemic, Lower Lonsdale has just been put on the map in a way that we never have before,” Mathiesen said. “The new customer that we’re serving is this regional-local or a local tourist that’s coming over for the day trip or just coming over because this is the new hotspot to have a meal and meet a friend.”