East of Main Cafe Gives Back to Kids
Image by Tyler Simpson
East of Main Cafe is cozy, charming and doing good for the community
East of Main Cafe offers a tasty and memorable menu you can easily digest because all profits help less fortunate kids discover the arts
Vancouver sisters Maureen Webb and Donalda Weaver aren't restauranteurs first. But their stylish little restaurant and bar next to their Project Limelight Society office on East Georgia, between Main and Gore, would certainly have anyone fooled.
The resto, called East of Main Café, stands out in this little strip of Chinatown with its easy elegance and its unique raison d'etre. It's an offshoot business that allows customers to support the sisters' 'limelight' cause - a free performing arts program for kids from the Downtown Eastside.
Dine at the café for lunch or dinner, or for cocktails and nibbles, knowing all profits go directly to helping kids discover the arts. These are children from less fortunate families who can’t afford the kinds of theatre, dance or music lessons we may have taken for granted when we were kids.
Tapas Menu at East of Main
Neither sister is a restaurateur, yet both are savvy enough to hire talented folks to run the place, like chef Jenny Patsula and bartender/general manager Andrew Flynn.
The menu consists primarily of tapas with a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern slant, and includes shareable plates like Catalonian flatbread called Cocas ($9-$10 depending on your preferred flavour), often available on special.
Roasted cauliflower (the new Brussels sprouts) has an exotic spicy flavour and comes on a bed of Greek yogurt and tahini ($7). The Moroccan Kefta meatballs ($9) come with a poached egg that you burst with your fork and then use as a heavenly dipping sauce to mix with the spicy tomato coulis on the platter.
Creative and Memorable Cocktails
Head barman/GM Andrew Flynn is also a talent. In a city of a zillion bars with great cocktail programs, a tasty sipper is always expected but rarely remembered the next day.
When Flynn gently pushed The Ghurka ($9.50) toward me in a gorgeous vintage glass, my first sip was an ‘oh my’ experience. House-infused garam masala whiskey with maraschino liqueur, rosewater and bitters make up this special elixir. Lots of classic and signature cocktails plus a decent wine and beer list are on offer, plus good espresso drinks.
The room itself is lovely – small with a 5-seat bar (look up to view the origami paper cranes drifting and turning above), a window booth, a communal table, plus a little club-chair corner nook.
Great cause, great little spot.