New Mexican restaurant nabs primo spot on Granville Island

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      A new high-concept Mexican restaurant scheduled to open on Granville Island this June will occupy a recently vacated prime location in the popular foodie destination.

      Alimentaria Mexicana will feature a licensed indoor cantina with patio dining in the spot formerly occupied by Edible Canada, which closed last February due to the COVID-19 pandemic after a decade in business across from the main entrance to Granville Island's Public Market.

      The "expansive, multifaceted concept" restaurant at 1596 Johnston Street—as an April 28 news release referenced the new venture by Mexican Canadian chef Ernesto Gomez—will also have a takeout window, a tortilla factory and bakery outlet, and an educational component.

      Along with those features will be a retail location selling "high-quality, locally and internationally sourced artisanal products and provisions—in essence, all the necessary elements to showcase an authentic Mexican taste of place".

      "Alimentaria Mexicana is an immersive culinary and cultural experience unlike any other that showcases the time-honoured techniques, traditions and products of Mexican and local artisans in an authentic way that pays homage to their origins," the release said.

      Alimentaria Mexicana's new location (when occupied by Edible Canada).
      Twitter/Dean Kuusela

      Gomez—who is partnered with veteran restaurateur Darragh McFeely in Yaletown's Chancho Tortilleria and Gastown's Nuba restaurants as well as this new venture—will be showcasing "fairly traded, traceable, and nutrient-dense Mexican ingredients", according to the bulletin.

      Joining the two will be executive chef Martin Vargas, former head chef at Yaletown's acclaimed but now-closed Fayuca, which featured Northern Pacific Mexican cuisine.

      Interior of Edible Canada when first opened.
      Carolyn Ali

      Information about food and drink menus and available retail products will be available in the coming weeks, the release noted.

      Ernesto Gomez