Best New Design 2015

Best Design winner of Vancouver Magazine's 26th Annual Restaurant Awards

Best Design winner of Vancouver Magazine’s 26th Annual Restaurant Awards

  • Gold: Au Comptoir
  • Silver: Chambar
  • Bronze: Café Medina

 What do we expect from a room that claims this year’s Best New Design title? Foremost is that surge of excitement as you walk through the door and realize you’ve stumbled upon something great. Au Comptoir managed to make an unassuming patch of West Fourth look and feel like it had been transported straight from the cobblestone streets of Paris. If it seems authentic, that’s because it is: the tables and pressed-tin bar were imported direct from the City of Love. And the beauty is in the details: vintage sewing machines were refurbished with bespoke wooden tabletops; a pass-through to the kitchen is framed in warm reclaimed wood; a mosaic tile pattern on the floor has been rubbed raw, as though decades of visitors have already worn it down. “It feels understated enough to be casual,” says judge Chad Falkenberg of Falken Reynolds Interiors, “and smartly appointed to speak to the quality of the food.” Honourable mentions go to two rooms that relocated last year to grander digs: at Chambar, co-owner Karri Schuermans has managed to expand and elevate the former room’s design while maintaining the welcoming vibe that made the first location so successful; and Café Medina’s white, bright space (including a huge replica ghost sign) feels as though it’s always been part of its new neighbourhood.