The club district continues to distinguish itself as a place to enjoy dinner (as opposed to a place to upchuck it after too many vodka sodas), thanks to the recent additions of Valdez, Forno Cultura, Cibo Wine Bar, and, soon, a restaurant highlighting the food of our southern neighbours from the people behind La Carnita.
The new place, called Home of the Brave, will be in the space formerly occupied by the Cream Lounge on the second floor of 589 King St. W. (at Portland), right on top of barbecue joint Lou Dawgs.
“Over the last two years, we’ve been travelling to Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Flordia, and Philly,” says co-owner Andrew Richmond. “We basically went to America to discover their version of Mexican cuisine and, on the way, we discovered this rich cultural essence of American food and drink.
“There’s just an abundance of it and the movement of spirits and beer is phenomenal. For Thanksgiving alone, there are so many American dishes to choose from. What we’re doing is sewing all these things we found in different regions and cities. The menu will have stuff from Boston, Maine, Chicago, New York, and Key West but we’ll never limit ourselves to anything. Some might be more traditional but other times you might get a snails Rockefeller.”
Richmond adds their restaurant won’t be stepping on the toes on their downstairs neighbour. “It’s not southern, it’s not barbecue. Maybe there’ll be fried chicken but it’s not the crux of what we’re doing.”
The menu is still being finalized and tested for the projected August opening. (See the photo above for how the place is coming along.) Both La Carnita and Home of the Brave will be overseen by executive chef John Hamilton, and La Carnita’s sous chef Nate Middleton will now be running the kitchen of Home of the Brave as chef de cuisine. Taylor Corrigan, formerly of Origin St. James and a one-time Grid Bar Star, will be the bar manager.
The 68-seat restaurant will have an industrial-diner feel and will be open for lunch, take-out, dinner, and late-nights on weekends, though Richmond says it won’t go too crazy on the latter.
“I lived and worked down here for some 15 years when there was nothing down here. When I was working in the creative industry, there wasn’t really any place I could relate to, so what we’re trying to do is to create an environment that I’d want to go for lunch or have drinks after work.”—Karon Liu