Gastown is forever changing; such is the nature of consistency. Reliable? Of course. A discovery? Always.
Here’s the latest to call the neighbourhood home.
New Retail Stores
306 West Cordova
Environmentally conscious and committed to real change, ARC is an independent clothing boutique that sources brands doing notable things in the apparel industry within the realm of sustainability, ethical manufacturing, or giving back.
Inspired by travel, yoga teachings, and facts about the state of the world, founder Sarah Stewart has made it her mission to inspire confidence and positive change. The name ARC Apparel was inspired by Joan of Arc and the store sells women’s wear.
253 Columbia Street
In a neighbourhood awash with the best menswear in the city, Gastown welcomes in another fantastic store, entirely different from the rest. Marketer turned retailer, Matthew Hamilton, sells small run clothing lines from Europe and North America in a curated, bright and calming space, more like a living room than a shop. Brands available include Merz B. Schwanen, Mason Labiche, Velva Sheen, Hartley of Scotland and La Paz.
321 West Cordova
Once the neighbourhood’s great dusty cabinet of curiosities; Salmagundi, now a nouveau Asian inspired boutique selling jewelry, clothing, home decor, kitchenware and stationery. It’s as if someone pulled sheets off furniture in a dark old mansion, tore open the drapes and let the light stream in. Completely transformed, the shop sells a pleasing arrangement of Korean, Chinese and Japanese housewares, apothecary, and objects d’arts. Take, for example the Hirota Water Glass – authentic Tokyo glassware, made with only the finest materials by highly skilled artisans in Tokyo. Used to drink water, cold drinks and whiskey.
347 Water Street
This is the brands first North American brick & mortar and the flagship store within its global fleet. Based in Vancouver, Herschel Supply Co. designs and crafts backpacks, bags, travel goods and accessories for men, women and children. On an aesthetic level the store is impressive – figurative sculptures silently greet customers and video screens project “parallel realities” in locations around the globe.
The Gastown store boasts the largest selection of Herschel products in the world (including just under 800 backpacks and 1,000 wallets on display), and the space will become a venue for collaborations and exclusive events.
209 Abbott Street
Lemongrass House Canada is an award winning maker of spa and body care products. All products are sulphate and paraben free and have never been tested on animals. Lemongrass House has a strong commitment to the environment using only the freshest and most natural ingredients. This is the company’s first store in North America.
12 Powell Street
Originally the site of the popular Bao Down, now home to Edwards Seafood & Spirits – named after Bao Down co-owner and chef, Greg Edwards. Complete with a canoe on the wall and a well stocked bar, the new venture serves a hearty menu of fish & chips, fried fish sandwiches, fresh seafood plates, and cocktails.
181 Carrall Street
Previously home to The Secret Location Restaurant, the lads from L’abattoir have brought us home a treasure from the ocean. Coquille (French for shell) is equally higher end, as it is down to earth. Sidle up to the nautical themed bar for Happy Hour small plates, relax in a circular with friends sharing fish & chips and beers or dress up a bit for the occasion and order a bountiful seafood platter.
2 West Cordova
Every good neighbourhood needs a hangout. A place where locals are at home and where newcomers sense the feeling of community as they enter. Di Beppe is like this. Authentic, cultured, inviting – the caffe/restaurant is family owned, adorned in keepsakes from an Italian upbringing, serving dishes that were perhaps once concocted in a Mama’s kitchen.
Single out any one item – that alone will be enough to come here on repeat visits. The affogato is a fine example, as is the appolini or the pizza. Rest here awhile to savour the good things in life along with coffee, conversation and the moment.