Gastown's Cork and Fin to relaunch as Japanese-inspired 'ONO raw bar

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      Alas, Gastown foodies, Cork and Fin is no more.

      The seafood restaurant, which opened in January 2010, closed its doors on February 15. But fear not, for reincarnation is in the works for this eatery.

      The venue will relaunch on February 26 as 'ONO raw bar at 221 Carrall Street.

      While the name refers to the Hawaiian word for tasty or delicious operations and general manager, Gordon Fai told the Georgia Straight by phone that the restaurant will focus on Japanese-inspired cuisine. He explained that owner Francis Regio has always loved Hawaii (hence a wishful-thinking reference on the Cork and Fin website to a possible location in Maui).

      In additions to oysters, Cork and Fin's menu offered a range of small plates, such as crab croquettes and braised pork belly, to larger dishes, such as black cod with broccolini and kabocha squash puree.

      Cork and Fin served up dishes like Niçoise salad with local albacore tuna, greens, nugget potatoes, sundried olives, and heirloom tomatoes.

      The focal point for the new venture will be the raw bar at the front of the restaurant, where chef Takuya Motohashi, formerly of the neighbouring Shirakawa (the Japanese fine dining establishment which closed down in the space that MeeT in Gastown recently opened up in), will offer nigiri, sashimi, and Japanese-inspired cold dishes and share plates.

      Fai said the date for reopening is not firm but will probably be late February or early March. He said they will start with offering a dinner menu but will eventually introduce lunch and happy hour at some point.

      "Oysters, obviously, will no longer be the focus," he said. "We will not have a huge selection of oysters any longer. We'll still have them on the menu, more as a garnished oyster and still available but we won't be known as an oyster bar anymore."

      If you are looking for oysters and seafood, you can always check out their related restaurant, Merchant's Oyster Bar (1590 Commercial Drive).

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