Stanley Park’s iconic Fish House restaurant will remain a seafood eatery thanks to Vancouver Park Board, on December 14, voting to award a new 10-year lease on the 85-year-old structure.
The new operators are Eli Brennan and Richard Warke. Warke is also a principal at West Vancouver’s Feast - The Neighbourhood Table.
The duo has agreed to pay the city a base rent of $180,000 plus a variable rent that is 2% on the first $2 million in revenue and 5% on every dollar thereafter.
“There will be extensive renovations,” Brennan told Business in Vancouver December 15. He and Warke have not yet set a renovation budget.
“We’re working out the final details of the lease and the agreement with the city but we’re hoping to be open for Christmas next year,” Brennan said.
The menu will include local foods and Brennan said a goal is to not have a freezer, as is the case at his West Vancouver eatery. That way food is guaranteed to be local and fresh.
Still, he said that he has yet to work with designers and others, so it is too soon to say the site will definitely be freezer-free.
“The menu will be approachable for all walks of life – from a kids menu to a fine dining style. We don’t want to exclude anyone and we want to make sure that all Vancouverites are welcome and feel comfortable in the room.”
SilverBirch Hotels and Resorts formerly operated the restaurant but they told the park board in the spring that they did not want to renew their lease and then closed the venue in October.
That kicked off a public process to find a new tenant
The building is adjacent to a grouping of tennis courts and is near the pitch-and-putt golf course and gardens.
Built in 1930 to support golfers and tennis players using the adjacent facilities, the structure was originally known as the Sports Pavilion.
It morphed to become the Third Beach Tea Room in 1949 and then, in 1974, became the Beach House Restaurant.
It was branded the Fish House since 1990 and gained fame for having celebrity chef Karen Barnaby as its executive chef between 1995 and 2012.
“It’s an iconic location with an amazing history in one of the most beautiful settings in the world,” Brennan said. “We’re excited to bring it back to its amazing glory days.”