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May 20, 2010
Calabash Restaurant Opens in Vancouver's Gastown Next Week

Toronto ex-pats will rejoice. Calabash Bistro, Vancouver's new centre for Caribbean culture, say they are due to open next week. Most likely it will be next Thursday, although there will be a big party held for industry friends this Sunday.

The Gastown restaurant, is located at 428 Carrall Street, just across the street from the old BC Electric Building and Sean Heather's Fetch hot dog stand. It's the project of owners Roger Collins (of Foundation Radio) and Sam Willcocks (formerly of Cassis Bistro.)

According to chef Cullin David (for ten years, the sous-chef to Jean-Francis Quaglia at Provence Marinaside), we can expect the following:

- The bar will be stocking the best collection of rum in the city, including as many boutique brands and family estate labels as the restaurant can find.

- One long wall will be reserved for a rotating show of artwork by artists from Gastown and the Caribbean community (including graffiti murals), while another will have a permanent display of Jamaican-style stencil work.

- An 80-seat dining room and kitchen will occupy the street level area, while downstairs ....

- a lounge and bar featuring live reggae and rock, will alternate with live streaming DJ music from a booth housed in an antique, wrought-iron elevator cage that was once a working component of the original building. The lounge space will also be used for live poetry readings and other social events.

- Calabash's sous-chefs hail from Toronto and Hamilton, and are experts in Caribbean cuisine. (One sports waist-length dreads.) Amazingly, Chef David found them here in Vancouver.

- From the super-sized jars of allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and other spices going into the kitchen pantry, there's no doubt the food will be as lively as the ambience. Chef David says the restaurant will open with a lunch and dinner menu for starters. Look for goat on the daily fresh sheet and curries, house-made jerk dishes, ackee and saltfish, and other other Caribbean staples on the regular dinner menu.

Calabash Bistro
428 Carrall Street

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Calabash Menu Posted below

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