Monbella closes – Is 1809 West 1st cursed?

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Scout Magazine is reporting today that Monbella is toast.

Monbella Bistoria at 1809 West 1st Ave, home to a number of restaurants in the past (most recently Industry, Vintropolis), has closed. Word is the investors abruptly pulled the plug and fired everyone yesterday. I’ve heard the downhill acceleration began in earnest after the fratricide (they canned Brad Roark, the original heart and soul managing partner), so while I wouldn’t wish a pink slip on anyone – ever – I can’t say that I’m the least bit surprised. Monbella, though promising in the beginning, ended up with the PR reach of a dead lemur (Facebook isn’t enough), and after what happened to Brad, their reputation suffered a horrible reek within the industry, one that would brook no febreeze.

For those keeping score at home, this is the third restaurant that has closed on chef Brian Fowke’s executive watch in three years (first Rare, then Metro, and now Monbella). I think that officially constitutes a slump. Here’s hoping that everyone lands on their feet, and that the fourth time is a charm. Ciao, bello.

This location is truly doomed – in August of 2008 we ran through the long history of failure at 1809 West 1st Avenue.

Last modified: October 21, 2009

6 Responses to " Monbella closes – Is 1809 West 1st cursed? "

  1. AJ says:

    I don’t think it’s cursed at all, I think it’s karma. That’s what happens when you screw people. I stopped going the day Brad was ousted from there and I know a lot of other people did as well. I went there a lot because I wanted to see Brad succeed and the minute they pulled the plug on him, I pulled the plug on spending my money in there.

  2. Bil Barilko says:

    The past 3 tenants had somewhat vague ideas, call it ‘Euro Hound’s Breakfast’ cuisine.

    Maybe it’s time for a complete change…..I know!

    How about a Sushi Bar-that’ll draw ’em in!

  3. Dan says:

    As far as I’ve heard (from a good source), Mon Bella has not closed; someone from the blog should give them a call. Rather than sound the death knell, let’s hear about what they’re doing!

  4. Bil Barilko says:

    When the crew left Mon Bella they cleaned up everything, set up the room for dinner service, locked the doors and walked away, there is no restaurant operating there now.

    Note-I just left the Wine Store next door not 5 minutes ago-my info is 100% current.

  5. […] recently Monbella Bistoria gave it a shot in that space but it has been a number of other eateries over the past 15 years including Industry, […]

  6. […] according to Chef Brian Fowke, the previous chef of MonBella Bistoria, answering our question regarding the long history of failed restaurants on that address. Chef Fowke explains that “[Kitsilano] is a great neighbourhood with fun customers.” […]