Downtown's new, green destination, Tim Pawsey photo

Vancouver’s been abuzz this past week with speculation concerning the imminent closure of what was supposed to be the long running extension of iconic lumiere and dbBistro,  on March 13th.

It’s a sad development, considering the role that lumiere has played in Vancouver’s culinary ascendance.

We won’t ruminate too much—except to say that the primary reasons for the ultimate demise of the house that Feenie built likely have more to do with the ambitious business arrangement inked between the current owners, David & Manjy Sidoo, and superstar chef Daniel Boulud than any effects wrought by the HST, the post Olympics downturn or by draconian enforcement of .05 drinking and driving laws.

However, it does find us asking, ‘Just what does constitute a successful business model in these times of diminishing interest in fine dining?’

Date and walnut biscotti, Tim Pawsey photo

For the answer, we found ourselves harking back to our recent visit to check out Commune Cafe (1002 Seymour St. at Nelson, 604-681-2151)–the centrally located, sleek, edgy and slightly hipster-ish hangout that’s evidently hitting the right notes with people looking for well conceived fresh and sustainable fair at a reasonable price.

We think this quote from our Vancouver Courier piece sums it up:

“Commune’s philosophy of offering soundly sourced, healthy ingredients at fair prices might once have been the wave of the future. But for many these days, it’s the only way to eat.

Sometimes we like to get to the bottom of things and play with our food, Tim Pawsey photo

Commune Café may be smartly trimmed in proletariat red but underneath it’s decidedly hipster green. All the way through.”

Read the full story here

And, if rumours are true, watch for lumiere chef Dale MacKay to reappear with the Sidoos in a new venture in the Bermuda Triangle of a space at Thurlow and Smithe … until recently occupied by ill-fated Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe.

(l-r) Commune Cafe owner Amir Samei, Shay Kelly, chef, Anthony Stern, manager TimPawsey photo