Hornby and Smithe Street location sees a more industrial –West Coast environmental sensibility in new design
With a new design that incorporates natural west coast materials, vintage industrial metals and a new emphasis on the kitchen, Earls downtown Vancouver flagship location at Hornby and Smithe has reopened following a two month, two million dollar renovation.
This new design throughout Earls’ Hornby Street location blends warm, west coast style with sustainability by using reclaimed barn wood and elements such as industrial steel, Carrera marble, sandblasted granite, crackled brick tile and distressed leather in cognac and amber tones. As with all Earls’ locations, the restaurant will take a page from its surrounding, in this case downtown Vancouver, and offer a one-off design specific to Hornby Street that includes design elements unique to this location.
A new entryway is the first thing that greets you – like entering a modern, yet stately home, the entrance is its own “room”. Behind the vintage inspired seeded glass “windows” is light and movement keeping the soaring ceilings of the lounge a surprise until hosts sweep you into the room, and holds back the cooler autumn air.
e + design and construction, a division of Earls Restaurants Ltd, has created a new design that showcases a more open and unstructured dining room focusing on an open kitchen that sparkles with brushed stainless steel and chrome yet is softened with subdued lighting and stone tile. Warm amber leather, movable leather benches, reminiscent of a 60’s diner, and butcher block wood tables create comfortable, flexible seating areas that feel they are designed just for you, and while the staircase to the private dining room, with its own bar and kitchen, still stands, the space below it has been opened up allowing a flow through the dining room and lounge that was not there before. Lighting in the dining room is both environmental and appealing with a tone designed just for Earls. There are no televisions in the dining room.
Earls new fall menu will now be showcased. Dishes, created daily in the kitchen of each location, offer a selection of global flavours and regional ingredients. Each restaurant has their own chef allowing for a flexibility that doesn’t just stop at local ingredients they use in each city, regional dining preferences are taken into consideration as Earls takes pride in knowing their customer’s needs. It’s what makes them passionate.
New fall selections include house baked soft pretzels with a warm three cheese and bacon dip; A pecan and porcini mushroom crusted chicken, rocket salad with citrus dressed arugula, beets, pears, cheese coulis, and parmesan chips; Grilled chicken, baked brie, house-made fig jam, roasted apples, spinach and garlic mayo on Ciabatta bread; Chicken and field mushroom fettuccini in a parmesan cream sauce with wilted spinach, crimini, oyster and button mushrooms, and a house baked pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream and cinnamon sugar. All Earls breads, baked goods and pastry are made from scratch in house daily.
At the bar televisions have also taken a back seat with minimal positions, just two behind the bar and a few more tucked into columns. A fabulous light grid installation over the bar is a feature you can’t miss, yet just below it and hidden to the guests, is Director of Beverage Development Cameron Bogue’s custom designed bar well that incorporates multiple forms of ice including the first “Scotsman” ice machine in Canada, producing perfectly symmetrical tiny nugget ice. Replacing standard crushed ice, nugget ensures a balanced chill and more even dilution. From the built in bar freezer comes the extra-large 2 inch cubes used as a single cube in Earls’ classic Old Fashioned and finally a state-of-the-art Hoshizaki machine produces the standard cubes. All water used at the bar is filtered. Each of the prototype custom fabricated bartending stations are refrigerated including inserts and sliding drawers, allowing juices and garnishes to remain fresh at arm’s length. Other custom design elements include a Belgium beer glass chiller.
Cam’s custom hand crafted cocktail menu, which incorporates only fresh squeezed juices, artisanal bitters and handmade natural syrups, gets its own special treatment at the Hornby Street location with suitably kitschy vintage Mai Tai glasses, copper Moscow Mule “mugs” and pewter julep cups for a signature Whiskey Smash made with organic honey. The traditional Caesar is taken a bit further now at all Earls restaurants with house made pickle spears, their own spice mix and a signature jerky replacing the traditional celery stalk used for garnish.
Moving over to the lounge, this room has been opened up to take advantage of the soaring ceiling and windows along two sides of the room. A raised row of stunning tufted leather horseshoe banquets lining the Smithe Street windows have a certain “Mad Men” appeal giving those who sink into them a feeling of privacy and intimacy while offering up a view across the lounge to the streetscape. The rest of the lounge offers more casual seating all at one level now.
Earls’ famous appetizer selection has some new dishes for fall, though not to worry, those great chicken wings are still on the menu, and the lounge is the perfect place for a few bites and Earls excellent, and value packed, selection of wine by the glass. Single diners will love the new bar seating.
Earls is open for lunch and dinner, 11 am – 11 pm seven days a week
905 Hornby Street, at Smithe, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1V3
Parking underneath (Cineplex Scotiabank Theatre)
Further Information and menus can be found at www.earls.ca