Five years after launching Campagnolo (1020 Main Street), owner and chef Robert Belcham is opening a 32-seat space upstairs today (February 20).
Simply named Upstairs at Campagnolo, the restaurant and bar has a separate entrance—just to the right of Campagnolo’s front door, marked only by the letter “c” and two squiggly lines—and, in many ways, its own identity.
The small, green-painted room contains relics from Belcham’s past restaurants. Wondering whatever happened to the neon dragon sign from barbecue joint Fat Dragon? That beauty is now suspended above the entryway. Artwork from Kitsilano’s Fuel hangs on the wall, as do framed photographs, awards, and even a skillet. Exposed wood beams and dark leather seats give the cozy den a comfortable, well-worn feel.
Upstairs is jointly owned by Belcham and director of operations Tim Pittman. Bar manager Peter Van de Reep has crafted a list of about a dozen classic and barrel-aged cocktails ($7 to $13), wines available by the glass and bottle, and beers that include Campagnolo Ale and an ever-changing rotation of bottles by neighbourhood craft brewers Brassneck.
The dining menu executed by chef de cuisine Nathan Lowey includes bar bites like spiced nuts, beef jerky, crackling, and olives; as well as heartier offerings such as housemade corndogs with mustard, barbecue ribs, and fried pig-ear lettuce wraps. For diners who remember (and still crave) Belcham’s iconic “Dirty Burger” at Refuel, a version—45-day, dry-aged beef topped with cheese, pickles, lettuce, and tomato—will be offered at Upstairs. Campagnolo’s entire dinner menu is also available upstairs.
Upstairs is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.