Flagship Location Serves Up Tacofino’s Trademark Mexican-inspired Fare in New Restaurant Featuring Separate Take-Out Counter, Bar and Patio
The New Year sees another new member added to the flourishing Tacofino family, as the celebrated West Coast brand of fresh, Mexican-inspired cuisine officially opens the doors of its flagship Taco Bar tonight.
Located in a fully restored heritage building in Blood Alley Square in Vancouver’s historic Gastown district, Taco Bar is the latest venture by Tacofino chefs and co-founders Jason Sussman and Kaeli Robinsong along with partners Ryan Spong and Matt MacIsaac. The 3,000-square-foot space boasts a 60-seat dining room and lounge, an expansive 20-seat tequila- and mezcal-forward bar and a 20-seat patio that will open in the spring. The adjoining Burrito Bar take-out counter, which welcomed its first customers Dec. 29, offers a variety of grab-and-go favourites at a separate entrance at 15 West Cordova St.
While the Taco Bar kitchen will serve the same signature Baja-style tacos and burritos that have earned Tacofino its loyal following, managing partner Gino Di Domenico views the new location as an opportunity to spice up the company’s already eclectic culinary lineup with imaginative new menu offerings like Oaxacan Corn Fritters ($6), Spicy Kabocha Squash and Pickled Cauliflower Tostada ($6), Chinook Salmon Ceviche ($8) and Glazed Beef Rib with Chilaquiles ($17). As always, Tacofino will feature products that are antibiotic- and hormone-free, raised ethically and made locally.
“Along with our Vancouver-based chefs, Christine Deyoung and Daniel Ackland, Jason has been cooking up some incredible dishes for our new menu,” says Di Domenico, who will oversee the new operation alongside GM Anthony Sterne. “While there will be some crossover of favourites from our food-truck and Commissary menus, we’re very excited to be able to showcase a whole new range of offerings featuring the bold flavours people have come to expect from Tacofino.”
Décor-wise, Vancouver designer Shiloh Sukkau married the laid-back, laissez-faire feel of coastal retreats like Tofino, Baja and SoCal to the heritage brick façade. Many handmade details and local artists take pride of place: sky lanterns and plant mobiles by Sukkau herself; geometric tile in patterned light-brown, beige and green; cement breeze blocks; handmade stools by Hinterland Designs; an expansive mural by Vancouver artist Gabriel Dubois; delicate handcrafted lights by Vancouver ceramicist Meghann Hubert; and three light-box features displaying vintage M. Stelling images of Cox Bay, Tofino that were gifted to Tacofino by West Coast Surf SHAC (Surf History Art Culture).
In keeping with Tacofino’s ongoing commitment to the communities they call home, the Taco Bar team will be giving back in Gastown by getting involved in a number of Downtown Eastside community projects in the coming year: organizing a food truck at the Salvation Army’s Harbour Light; funding the second installation of the DTES Kitchen Tables Community Access Map; and partnering with Union Gospel Mission on a volunteering schedule with staff. Tacofino also supports local non-profits such as Aprons for Gloves and Growing Chefs! and actively promotes sustainability by participating in Climate Smart, ZeroHero recycling programs and Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise conservation initiative.