One of the Japanese chainlets that helped usher izakayas into popularity in Vancouver is preparing to open a new location.
Guu Izakaya will add a Davie Village location to its roster at 1239 Davie Street.
The location, situated next to Your Independent Grocer, has been vacant since Upper Deck Kitchen and Taphouse shut down in March 2017 for failure to pay rent. (It was also previously the location of Speakeasy on Davie.)
The new location will offer a West End alternative to Guu Kobachi, which closed down at 735 Denman Street on September 26 as the site is slated for redevelopment.
According to Guu spokeperson Yasumi Yajima, the restaurant is aiming to open in either December or January. The 3,465-square-foot space will seat about 95 patrons, with a 523-square-foot deck that can seat up to 35 people.
Yajima explained that as this location has a large skylight and a south-facing patio, this location's theme will revolve around the idea of moon-viewing (or moonlight bathing), and the Japanese harvest-moon festival Tsukimi (also known as Jugoya), which is a variation of the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Guu Izakaya, which specializes in Japanese tapas-style plates designed for sharing or accompanying drinks, began in 1993 as Raku at 838 Thurlow Street (just off Robson Street) before changing its name to Guu in 2000.
The chain has since launched Guu with Garlic (1698 Robson Street) in the West End, Guu with Otokomae (105–375 Water Street) in Gastown, Guu Garden (M101–888 Nelson Street) in the downtown core, and Guu Izakaya Toronto.