The newest kid on the block, Crab Park Chowdery brings New England clam chowder and sourdough rolls a la San Francisco style, to the neighbourhood. This great little nook on Abbott, serves comfort food that comes up fresh and quick. The location is bright, friendly and full of character. Crab Park Chowdery is, owner Ashton Phillips’, fine vessel and this seaworthy ship, has just docked in Gastown.
As a child, you have fond memories of trips to San Francisco along with plenty of warm, comforting Clam Chowder and Sourdough rolls.
I was born and raised in Sonoma County, which is about 60 miles north of San Francisco. Our family would often travel down to Pier 39 and The Wharf. Those wonderful trips always included a lunch of hot clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. It was a full meal that was hearty and really good. San Francisco tends to be foggy and a bit cooler so the chowder would warm you up nicely.
You eventually relocated to Vancouver?
I moved up here about 6 years ago and realized that Vancouver is a lot like San Francisco. Despite all the similarities, one of the differences was that there were not many places doing sourdough bread rolls and clam chowder. Down in The Bay Area, they have places with lineups out the door and all they’re serving is sourdough and chowder. I saw a gap in the market, devised a concept, teamed up with my friend Patryk Drozd and we started looking for a good location.
We visited a few neighbourhoods but from the get-go, we really wanted to be in Gastown. There’s a good feeling here, particularly with the types of businesses and people that are drawn to the area. Gastown has a lot going for it. We came across the space here at 221 Abbott with its exposed brick, natural light, old wood features and “at home” feel and knew it was perfect.
You guys got lucky in the end.
During the open house, we were one of 14 applicants. We had a solid business plan, which we submitted with fingers crossed. With a bit of luck, we came out on top and found our new home.
Crab Park Chowdery is a super cool name. How did it come about?
We initially thought of calling it “The Chowdery”. We collaborated with Caitlin Das over at her design shop and she said that simply calling the restaurant The Chowdery was like calling a brewery, “The Brewery”. My business partner, Pat, had just gotten married at Crab Park. The location has a lot of history behind it and it has a lot of association with our brand such as a nautical theme and catering to longshoremen, tugboats and the shipping community. Caitlin said that Crab Park had a really nice ring to it and why not call our new baby “Crab Park Chowdery”? This name, along with 5 other variations, were posted on Facebook and our friends voted unanimously.
Crab Park Chowdery is located at 221 Abbott street in Gastown
Open 7 days a week – (M-T) 11am – 9pm (F-S) 11am-11pm (S) 12-8pm