1809 West 1st to become Kitsilano Daily Kitchen


“I do not think 1809 West 1st Ave is a cursed location.”

That’s 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.” His confidence in the location will lead to the opening of the newest 1809 West 1st venture, Kitsilano Daily Kitchen, some time in May.

Based on Chef Fowke’s blog post last year, these are some improvements that he’s considering for the new spot:

  • Street appeal – work on lighting and signage
  • Move the bar to the front of the room – West 1st Ave is a great people watching neighbourhood
  • Seven days a week plus lunch – lunch being coffee driven with ‘antipasto’, pastas and roasted fish/meats (Sunday with brunch)
  • Simple, clean and clear food/wine program – I like shared platters/bottles over small plates/glasses
  • Wine forward beverage program with the availability of beer on tap
  • Kitchen is too large (the dining room was originally twice the size) – make it into private dining
  • Tell everyone about the 200 parking spots in the rear
  • Or a completely different angle and compliment the neighbourhood with a Ramsey’s styled Nonna’s Deli with Wine Bar.

When it comes to the menu, The Good Life reports that Chef Fowke looks to work with local suppliers that can bring him a product he can work  head to tail with: take a whole duck, cook up breasts one night, a confit the next and perhaps a duck-based soup on the third. A bit like Refuel, I guess. Now we know why their Craigslist ad calls for “an understanding of sustainability and the local organic food movement.”

What do you think of this addition to the neighbourhood? I certainly hope that Kitsilano Daily Kitchen will be luckier than its predecessors.

Last modified: April 16, 2010

9 Responses to " 1809 West 1st to become Kitsilano Daily Kitchen "

  1. Kitzy says:

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe in ghost stories. To say a location is “cursed” or “unlucky” fails to acknowledge why the 1809 predecessors failed as they did, and moreover, sets a negative tone for a new venture coming in with great potential.

    Mon Bella Bistoria was not cursed, it was confused…the confusion served up by this place was foreshadowed in its very name. It was French..no Italian..small plates..no now large…three months in, welcome chef number three. Someone’s inability to make decisions and stick by them is what I believe lead to the inevitable failure of Mon Bella, definatly not a curse.

    Now, if we can “judge a book by its’ cover” so to speak, Kitsilano Daily Kitchen is already offering a clear image of who they are and what they are brining to our Kitsilano community. From the name I envision market fresh, locally sourced foods. If the food and service are as good as I think they’ll be coming from a Chef Fowke, I hope we are able to finally welcome a new-comer to 1809 West 1st…. without the threat of a curse.

  2. Laura says:

    Walked by tonight and they were already open! Site looks clean, fresh and wonderful for good weather eating, with open bay doors onto First Ave. Menu was incredibly appetizing. Will definitely give this spot a try in the near future.

  3. Good luck says:

    At those price points? He doesn’t give up, I’ll give him that. Unfortunately without a Bud Kanke bankrolling his endeavour, combined with his limited talent and a known suicide spot – well I wish him well.

  4. Chef Fowke says:

    I wanted to post this here first – http://www.kitsilano.ca has been a good friend and a strong resource for all of us in Kits.

    I am pleased to announce that we have just completed two weeks of ‘soft openings\’ and training. The official opening day of KITS DAILY KITCHEN was May 1st 2010 with a sold out room.

    The new business is very simple – I have opened a fresh, airy room in the heart of Kitsilano – two blocks from the beach and Granville Island with easy access to downtown. The room is open, clean and minimalist; while still showing a Kitsilano charm.

    The food is fine, but the room is not fine dining, rather comfortable and simple elegance. Quintessential West Coast Cuisine. The same can be said for the service – details are important, but never stuffy or unapproachable.

    But the Life to the project are the menus. They will be created daily…

    I will be purchasing, prepping and cooking every dish DAILY. No Sous chef, line cook or pastry cook – I will be preparing a dining experience for 30 people each night. My wife and two of my favourite people will be hosting the tables. The food will be supported with a Daily wine list of 12 – 20 labels that support the food.

    All my food is sourced locally – with an international flavouring of accoutrements. The menu is very personal, passion driven and I plan to have fun.

    I might be 6 – 12 months ahead of the economy, but I cannot open a ‘recession driven\’ restaurant. My food, service and wine are all leading edge and top quality with strong traditional roots – I will never discount the experience or the quality and will always stand behind my pricing. I can pass on great value in the fine food segment, while still delivering a room that is fun and lively.

    For more information about the restaurant please visit

    If you would like to receive a Daily menu update, please email me at brian@cheffowke.com to join the Daily mailing list. Each day the Daily menu will be emailed to you at 4pm.

  5. Recent diner says:

    Delicious. Treat yourself.

  6. carpe vino says:

    Amazing restaurant! Have eaten there twice now, and in my opinion, it is worth every penny! I love that all the “critics” who are saying that the prices are too high have likely not eaten there yet!
    I had their beautiful seared ahi tuna “appetizer” with wasabi polenta and a lobster cream sauce… a very generous portion for $14! The only thing over $30 was an organic bison ribeye that would have been $40 or $50 at any other restaurant with the know-how and skill to pull off this kind of menu. I would say… check out the restaurant, and then tell people your opinion!

  7. Yes, I got to talk to Chef Fowke, and he mentioned how some people in the neighbourhood have already been back twice (which is impressive considering they’ve only been open for 3 weeks). Says he really appreciates the support. I’ll write about the interview and write a review by next week.

  8. Kitzy
    You are spot on, developing an identity is crucial to any new business. Without an identifiable identity (brand) you get lost in the mix and eventually close. Instead of doing many things well, do one or two things great. Textura Salon wishes Daily Kitchen success.

  9. We went to ‘the Daily’ last night on a recommendation someone had just made minutes earlier at an event – we were passing that area on the way home so thought we’d try it. It came highly recommended and still I was surprised at how good the food was! Really beautiful flavours, simple and very well done.
    I think what made it such an easy pleasure was the service – polite, genuine, intelligent servers who know how to help you around the menu and wine list and ensure you enjoy your meal and how to leave you to it.
    1 shared starter
    2 mains
    1 shared dessert
    2 glasses of wine
    2 coffee
    $98 (plus %20 tip)
    Very good value.
    Well go back.