An Exclusive Look Inside the Newly Expanded Fanny Bay Oyster Bar in Vancouver

Fanny Bay Oyster Bar will be fully open on Cambie later this week, but we're not being shellfish with our first-look pics.

When I breezed by the “Closed for Renovations” sign at Fanny Bay Oyster Bar and Shellfish Market yesterday, I assumed I’d be faced with the classic chaos that comes right before a reopening—dusty floors, tables askew, some guy walking around wondering where he put his damn screwdriver. And I wouldn’t have blamed them—the restaurant and market shuttered its doors less than a month ago, and everyone knows that renovations always take longer than anticipated.

But the now twice-as-large Fanny Bay is squeaky clean—owner Malindi Taylor says the chairs are temporary, but otherwise the space is ready to go. So too are the employees: I snuck in for a peek during a little staff wine seminar, and when Taylor prepared some fresh oysters for me (brag alert) one staff walked by and wistfully remarked, “I miss shucking.”

Technically, only one half of the space is “new”—the restaurant took over ownership of the hair salon next door late last year. The wall between the two properties is no more, so Fanny Bay is now flooded with natural light and has lots of extra seating (plus a new private dining room with a gorgeous mural by Kelly Logan).

Kitschy-cool decor (think nets strung across the ceiling and giant bowls shaped like oysters by Searamics) hints at the restaurant’s fun, accessible vibe—chef Tommy Shorthouse admits that seafood, particularly oysters, can be an intimidating cuisine to get into, and is set on making his menu as exciting, intriguing and approachable as possible. There’s the “crabonara,” for starters, a gorgeous green pasta that perfectly balances freshness and decadence, or the paella, a rainbow of rice, veggies and open-shelled treasures.

The “crabonara.”

Summer is busy season for the restaurant, so the timing of this new expansion couldn’t be more perfect—the space is ready to welcome in customers this Friday, April 5.


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