Go Rogue News
New Rogue restaurant part of a growing hub of eateries
By Tracy Sherlock, Vancouver Sun January 29, 2013
Rogue Kitchen and Wetbar will open a third restaurant location in the former home of Tourism Vancouver’s visitor centre on the corner of Burrard Street at Canada Place Way.
Rogue will take over about 4,000 square feet of the existing visitor centre, in addition to patio space on Burrard Street in Vancouver.
Tourism Vancouver will use the remaining 2,000 square feet on the north side for the visitor centre, which includes Tickets Tonight, Vancouver’s only half-price, day-of ticket centre and Ticketmaster outlet. The visitor centre is now closed for renovations and is expected to reopen in the spring.
The area will be home to several significant new restaurants: there will be Rogue, a new Cactus Club and a new Tap & Barrell in addition to Mahony & Sons and Bellaggio, which are already open. Miku, an upscale Japanese restaurant, is also moving into the area from its current home at 1055 W. Hastings and Hapa Izakaya, which serves Japanese pub-style food, is also a neighbour.
Rogue is part of the Steamworks Group of Companies, which includes Steamworks Brewing Company and two Rogue Kitchen and Wet Bar locations: in Waterfront station on Cordova Street and on Broadway at Ash.
Steamworks Group of Companies owner and CEO Eli Gershkovitch said he’s not worried about “cannibalization” with two Rogue restaurants so close together.
“In the past when I have worried about cannibalization, my fears proved to be unfounded,” Gershkovitch said. “(Having two similar restaurants close together) synergized the business and added critical mass to the area.
“The convention centre is going to become a hub of restaurant activity.”
He says tourists have discovered the promenade and the plazas around the convention centre and that locals should be close behind.
James Smerdon, vice-president, consulting, for Colliers International, said he thinks the restaurants are too spread out to create a critical mass. Rather, he says, there is demand in the area from office tenants, cruise ship passengers and people using the convention centre, who are all looking for sit-down restaurants.
Office tenants are asking their landlords to seek restaurant tenants or lounge space in their lobbies because employees want social space to hang out, to decompress or to hold informal meetings, Smerdon said.
“That creates value for the landlord,” he noted.
Gershkovitch said the location will tap into the growing business district west of Burrard Street.
The newest Rogue will have just 140 seats, compared with 380 at the original Rogue in Waterfront station. Gershkovitch said the company will be hiring about 75 people for the new location, including servers, bartenders, hostesses and cooks before a late spring or early summer opening.
Gershkovitch served on the board of Tourism Vancouver from 2003-05. Tourism Vancouver says digital technology means it no longer needs as much retail space.
“The new centre will combine personal service by professional staff and trained volunteers with the latest digital and mobile technology, along with good old-fashioned visitor guides, maps and brochures, to maximize every visitor’s Vancouver experience,” said Ted Lee, Tourism Vancouver’s CFO and vice-president of visitor sales and services.
Until the new visitor centre opens, Tourism Vancouver will continue to assist visitors in the lobby of Vancouver Convention Centre East. Tickets Tonight is temporarily located in the concourse that connects the east and west Convention Centre buildings.