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August 28, 2010
100 Days Pops Up at the Opus Hotel

We figured that street art was going mainstream in the food world when British graffiti artists starting earning fat commissions to design labels for vodka bottles.

What proves that true is seeing the spray cans show up in Vancouver's legitimate restaurant scene, first organically at the Caribbean-themed restaurant Calabash, where the owners hired Jamaican street artists to decorate the walls of their downstairs lounge, and now in a more self-consciously contrived manner at the Opus Hotel.

Can't really blame them. It's a trendy marketing move that smartly does double duty with corporate bottom line efficiency

Long over due for a concept upgrade, especially after the departure of its best asset, Executive Chef Don Letendre, the Yaletown boutique hotel closed its Elixir Bistro at the beginning of this week with plans to reopen in a few months' time. In the meantime, what to do with the empty space and underutilized kitchens?

The buzz-baiting solution appears to be a pop-up restaurant/dining event named 100 Days, as that will be the term of the temporary dining room's existence.

In a 180 degree departure from Elixir's antique, red velvet, bordello vibe, 100 Days will revel in its urbanity with deconstructionist decor and changing rebel art by graffiti artist Vince Dumoulin. Which should be fun, but frankly, if you live/work as we do near BC Place, with the real industrial look jack hammering 24/7 outside your window, plus a view of the city-sanctioned gaffiti work going on along the Beatty Street Wall, this ersatz version just seems redundant.

One thing they have right -- when the stress of city living is maxing, you need the sanctuary of comfort food more than ever. Even if, ironically, that style of cuisine happens to be going out of fashion. (Not that that will matter to the Opus Bar crowd as long as they still serve cocktails.)

100 Day's menu will feature plenty of carbs with the de rigueur upscale proteins mixed in ... truffled grilled cheese with boar bacon, duck pot pies, pasta etc.

Check it out. The restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week, and you can get a reservation through Open Table.

As of today, you have 99 days left.

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