Unwrapped: Beach Bay Café and Patio

Beach Bay's bright interior, across from iconic English Bay

Beach Bay’s fresh feeling and bright interior, across from iconic English Bay

The wraps are off Beach Bay Café and Patio, across from English Bay, in the West End of Vancouver (1193 Denman St., 604-685-7337).

I was in for an informal meeting and wine tasting and—while the restaurant is still very much in “soft opening” mode—thought I should share my first impressions.

Although I’ll be heading back asap for a full meal experience to write a comprehensive review (and to get some better pics), my hunch is that Beach Bar and Grill will indeed prove to be a worthy successor to Harry Kambolis’s ill fated Raincity Grill.


Fresh, clean lines ..

Fresh, clean lines ..

Here’s why…

I love what the new owners (Viaggio Hospitality Group) have done to the room—not a whole lot, although it’s vastly improved: bright and airy, clean lined and simply designed, awash in white, with natural wood table tops. The eye is drawn to the rear wall of the room, which is filled by a sepia-toned archival view of English Bay beach and its pier in 1910, pre-Sylvia Hotel.

Beach Bay’s menu is very much locally focused, in a way that, in my mind, pays tribute to Raincity and all it achieved; and promises to continue to embrace that regional seasonal seasonal mantra so ably forged by its predecessor.

Perfectly smoked Steelhead ...

Perfectly smoked Steelhead …

We had only a couple of small plates but I was impressed by the sourcing of the ingredients, depth of flavours and the detail in presentation. The gently smoked steelhead trout with apricot crème fraîche is superb, well textured and nicely balanced.

Another starter of sweetbreads: good to see them as a mainstay

Beach Bay starter of sweetbreads: good to see them as a mainstay

Very tender and fresh, sweetbreads paired nicely with rhubarb and grilled beetroot. A ‘snack’ of baby turnips with their greens and filled shrimp custard was crunchy and tasty.

Service proved relaxed and obliging. Beach Bay’s wine list—wide ranging, globally sourced  and very smartly chosen—delivers no shortage of options both in terms of price and quality. No surprise there, perhaps, given the abundance of savvy sommelier power behind this group.

Still firmly regionally focused ...

Still firmly regionally focused …

Starters range from $11 to $15, mains $23 to $28, although you’ll likely want to order some sides, such as fingerling potatoes, local greens or roasted mushrooms ($8).

In short, I can’t wait to get back in for the full meal deal. As for the long run, I’ll be intrigued to see if Beach Bay succeeds in establishing itself as the quintessential Vancouver room, in the same way that Raincity Grill did before. Somehow, I have a pretty good hunch that it will.

Coming soon: one hot ticket

Coming soon, just as it always was: one hot ticket of a patio

More here


Beach Bay menu cover

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:10+00:00 June 4th, 2015|Dining|2 Comments

About the Author:

Tim has been covering the food and wine revolution for about 20 kilos. Count 15 kg alone thanks to the blossoming cuisine and wine culture of British Columbia, Canada. Tim’s hallmark is seeking out and recommending value wines from BC and around the world that offer quality at every level. He also scopes out noteworthy restaurants that live up to their promises—and often over deliver. Readers depend on the Hired Belly for his “Belly’s Best” and “Belly’s Budget Best” picks to help them find the right wine for the occasion. He writes, tweets and shoots his own images for columns in the Vancouver Courier and North Shore News. He also contributes to WHERE Vancouver magazine, as well as to several other publications. They include Taste magazine, Tidings Magazine, and Montecristo. His columns are frequently picked up by major newspapers across Canada. Tim is a frequent judge for wine competitions, such as Vancouver Magazine International Wine Awards. He is a founding judge of The BC Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Wine. He is frequently invited to judge at The BC Wine Awards, and others. Tim has traveled to taste in many of the world’s leading wine regions, most recently in Burgundy, Argentina and Chile.


  1. pk June 4, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Hey sounds like a perfect lunch place!!!

  2. Tim Pawsey June 4, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Hey PK, indeed!! Time to check in.

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